Sessional Papers - 1884

PAPERS LAID BEFORE THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL OF HONGKONG FEB-JUNE 1884

Table of Contents

1. Botanical and afforestation Department

Report of the Superintendent of Botanical and afforestation Department for 1883

2. Eastern & Western Prayas

First Portion of Correspondence Respecting the Proposed Junction of the Eastern & Western Prayas

3. Education Department

Report of the inspector of Schools for 1883

4. Financial Statement

Financial Statement Shewing Estimated Position of the Colony at the End of 1883

5. Government Scholarships

Draft Regulations for Government Scholarships

6. Hongkong Blockade

Memorandum on the Hongkong Blockade By Mr. Justice Russell

7. Hongkong Telegraph

Despatch Respecting the Charges Brought against the Surveyor General's Department By the Hongkong Telegraph Newspaper

8. H. R. H. the Duke of albany

Correspondence Respecting the Death of H. R. H. the Duke of albany

9. Legislative Council

Speech of His Excellency the Governor at the Opening of the Session of the Legislative Council

10. Legislative Council

Speech of His Excellency the Governor at the Prorogation of the Session of the Legislative Council

11. Legislative Council

Address of the Legislative Council in Reply to the Speech of His Excellency the Governor

12. Legislative Council

Proceedings of the Legislative Council

13. Medical Department

Report of the Colonial Surgeon for 1883

14. New Police Pension Rules & increased Rates of Pay

Memorandum on the Subject of New Police Pension Rules & increased Rates of Pay

15. One Dollar Notes

Correspondence Respecting the Issue of one Dollar Notes

16. One Dollar Notes

Report of the Finance Committee on the Subject of the Issue of one Dollar Notes

17. Police

Correspondence Respecting the Police

18. Postal Service

Correspondence Respecting the Postal Service

19. Private Bills

Report By the Harbour Master on the Private Bills Enabling Mr. Bulkeley Johnson and Mr. Chater Respectively, to Construct Piers and Wharves

20. Public Works Department

Report of the Commission appointed to inquire into Certain Charges Publicly Made against the officers of the Public Works Department

21. Roman Catholic Cemetery

Papers Relative to the Grant of Land for a Roman Catholic Cemetery

22. Smuggling of Opium and Other Goods into China

Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the alleged Smuggling of Opium and Other Goods into China

23. Smuggling of Opium from Hongkong to China

Correspondence Respecting the alleged Smuggling of Opium from Hongkong to China

24. Tytam Water Works

Report By the Surveyor General on the Progress and Present Position of the Tytam Water Works 25th June, 1884

 

Speech of His Excellency the Governor at the opening of the Session

for 1884 of the Legislative Council of Hongkong.

HONOURABLE GENTLEMEN OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL,

1. It is with feelings of much pleasure and interest that I now open the first Session of the re-constituted Legislature of Hongkong, and have recourse to your advice and assistance in the administration of the Government.

2. It will always be one of the most satisfactory reminiscences of my long public career that I have been able to procure a more adequate representation in this Council of the community at large. I am confident that the Government will derive valuable aid from the local knowledge and experience of the Unofficial Members, and I also believe that you will all agree with me that there neither is, nor ought to be, any antagonism between the Official and the Unofficial element in this Legislature. All the Members alike can have no other object but to secure the general welfare, and to advance the progress of the Colony.

3. For obvious reasons, it is in the highest degree important that this Council should adhere to the constitutional forms followed by the Legislatures of the other principal Crown Colonies. The address of the Governor at the opening of each annual session will contain, here as elsewhere, a general view of the financial and social condition of the Colony, and a statement of the Legislative and other measures, and of the public works proposed. So the address of the Council in reply will afford the Members of the Legislature the usual constitutional opportu- nity of expressing their opinion of the conduct and proposals of the Government.

4. Further, in accordance with the practice elsewhere, I recommend you to appoint a Committee of Finance (which should be a Committee of the whole Council), a Committee of Laws, and a Committee of Public Works, which should respectively examine in the first instance the details of every proposed vote and

measure.

5. After this brief explanatory preface, I will proceed to state generally the principal subjects to which your attention will be directed during the present Session. Full details will be found in the papers which will be laid before you, and in the statements of the several Heads of Departments.

6. In the first place, with regard to the paramount question of Finance, it is very satisfactory to be able to inform you that our position is satisfactory. The Revenue of the year 1883 amounted to $1,286,500; and the Ordinary Expenditure

to $1,165,700; leaving an excess of revenue over Ordinary Expenditure of $120,800. The Extraordinary Expenditure of 1883 was defrayed from the accu- mulated Balances, and included the

Tai-tam Water Works,.

....

.$90,966

Break-water,

22,510

Causeway Bay Reclamation,

9,000

Purchase of Houses and Land for the New Central Market,

21,000

Sanitary Works,..............................

30,483

Total,.

.$173,959

The Estimated Balance to the credit of the Colony on the 31st December, 1883, was $1,095,505.

27

7. Hongkong is probably the only State or Colony of importance which at the present day is not only without a Public Debt, but which possesses invested Assets nearly equal to its annual revenue. However, the existing Balances will not be sufficient to carry out several Public Works which are urgently required by this Community, in addition to those " strong and complete measures of sanitation which Mr. CHADWICK (the Civil Engineer recently sent out from England) has re- ported to be absolutely necessary "for the immediate benefit of the public health.” Under these circumstances, I concur with the Executive Council in what appears to be the general opinion of the Colony, viz., that the present generation of Colonists ought not to be deprived of the advantages referred to, while it cannot of course be expected to defray the entire cost of works of a permanent and reproductive character; and that, consequently, it will be expedient to raise, on the exhaustion of the existing assets, a moderate loan, not much exceeding the revenue of a single year. This question will not have to be decided in its details during the present Session; but I desire to elicit the opinion of the Council on the principle involved.

8. The Estimates for 1884 have been already voted. The Estimates for 1885 will be laid before you in next November; which seems to be the most generally convenient period for the opening of the annual Session.

9. With regard to Legislative measures;-The following Ordinances, among others, have already become law since I assumed this Government in the spring of last year, viz.: Ordinances to provide for the better Regulation of Vehicles and Public Traffic; To organise the construction of certain lines of Tramways; To constitute a Sanitary Board; To amend the Merchant Shipping Law and provide for the enforcement of Quarantine; To continue the operation of the French Mail Steamers Ordinance; To authorise the construction of certain Piers and Wharves.

The principal Bills which will be laid before you during the present session will be the following:-

(1.) To regulate Weights and Measures.

(2.) To consolidate and amend the Ordinances relating to Opium. (3.) To establish a Savings Bank.

A

1.

(4.) To consolidate and amend the laws relating to Stamp Duties. (5.) To provide for the Registration of Medical Practitioners. (6.) To regulate Prisons and Prisons Discipline.

7.) To amend the Dangerous Goods' Ordinance, 1873. (8.) To amend the Preservation of Birds' Ordinance, 1870. (9.) To amend certain Ordinances relating to Criminal Procedure. (10.) To amend the law relating to the punishment of criminals.

(11.) To amend the Bankruptcy Ordinance of 1864.

(12.) To regulate the Post Office and Postal Service.

(13.) To amend Ordinance No. 10 of 1867.

(14.) To provide for the more effectual protection of Chinese female

children.

10. The report of the Commission on Smuggling; and an able and exhaustive memorandum by Mr. Justice RUSSELL on the so-called Blockade of Hongkong by Chinese Revenue Cruisers are recommended to your attention. I have discussed this important question with the present British Minister at Peking, who will, I am confident, lend his aid towards carrying out an equitable settlement.

11. Turning to the vital subject of the Public Health, I am glad to in- form you that the recent organisation of a Government Sanitary Board under Ordinance No. 7 of 1883, and the promulgation of new Rules and Regulations under that Qrdinance, together with the introduction of improved contracts for the removal and disposal of waste products, have been followed by a marked improve- ment in the practical sanitation of the Colony. Much however remains to be done, both in respect of legislation and of structural sanitary work; but I am confident that the necessary reforms and improvements will in due course be effected by the zeal and ability of the officers to whom this branch of the Public Service has been entrusted, and by the cheerful acquiescence of all classes of our population in such measures and restrictions for the safety of the Public Health as may, with your assistance, become law. In this connection, Bills are in course of preparation to amend and consolidate the laws relating to the Public Health; to amend the Building Ordinance No. 8 of 1856; to regulate the Water supply, and to prevent waste. Owing however to the large and comprehensive nature of these Bills, no less than to the probable necessity of referring certain technical points to scientific authorities in England, it is possible that there may not be time for their full consi- deration during the present session. In this event, they will form the subject of your first deliberations in the next session. In the meantime, however, the carrying out of such works as were deemed of immediate importance to the Public Health has been sanctioned. These works, which are either in progress or in course of immediate initiation, include, among others, the Reclamation of unhealthy tidal lands at Yau-ma-Ti and Causeway Bay; Extensions and improvements of the existing system of sewers in this city; the construction of a new Central Market; the erection of a permanent Lazaretto on Stone Cutters' Island; the systematic dredging of the noxious foreshore along the Praya by means of steam machinery; and the general Sanitation of the villages in the Colony.

12. In connection with Sanitary Reform, the serious question of increased house accommodation for the population of Victoria is now engaging the attention of my Government. While every succeeding census has revealed a great increase in the population, there has not been a corresponding increase in the number of humar. habitations. Overcrowding in its worst form has consequently been the result; and the prevention of this evil will be dealt with in the proposed new Public Health Ordinance. However, as the true remedy is to be found chiefly in increased house accommodation for the labouring classes, it will be necessary to expand the City in a westerly direction as well as towards the East; and to create fresh building sites available for new tenements. Estimates will, therefore, be presented to you for certain additional works of reclamation; for the formation of new suburbs, and for the laying out of new streets in the Districts of Belcher's Bay and Causeway Bay.

13. As the hitherto existing system by which purchasers of Crown leaseholds have been able to evade their building obligations has led to a considerable area of land in and near the City remaining vacant, directions have been given that, in the future, no purchaser of a Crown allotment shall receive his lease until he shall have complied with the Conditions of the Sale, and expended the specified sum upon proper tenements. Moreover, in the villages of the Colony, the system of tenants-at-will (termed licensed squatters) whose tenures were terminable upon one month's notice, will be superseded by an improved system of small and inexpensive building leaseholds for seventy-five years. The inhabitants will thus gain that security for the investment of their money in suitable homes which was altogether wanting under their present Squatter's License, by which they were liable to eviction upon one month's notice. These measures will, it is expected, tend to stimulate the further erection of proper dwellings, and to relieve the present overcrowded condition of several quarters of the City.

14. On sanitary and other grounds I have come to the conclusion that the drainage of the marshy lands situated within the Race-Course in the Wong-nei Chung Valley is as much a work of necessity as the reclamation of Causeway Bay. A plan will, therefore, be laid before you for the drainage of these meadows and for

their conversion into a Public Park.

15. Adverting to other important public undertakings, which have received legislative sanction, I am glad to inform you that the Break-water at Causeway Bay, intended to form a harbour of refuge for the boat population during typhoons, has been satisfatorily completed within the amount originally estimated; that the Tai- tam Water-works are steadily progressing; as is also the extension of the Government Hospital, together with the new Lunatic Asylum; and that the erection of the new Central School will be commenced forthwith. The new Meteorological Observatory has been finished; and will, it is expected, prove of practical value to the maritime

interests of commerce.

16. I have pressed on the Imperial Government the importance, on Sanitary and other grounds, of that urgently needed improvement, the connection of the Eastern and Western portions of Victoria, by means of a continuous marine embank- ment along the sea-frontage of the Military Cantonments and the Royal Naval Yard. I hope to be able ere long to announce a favourable decision.

17. With regard to the vital question of Public Instruction, the Report of the Inspector of Schools for 1883 will be laid before you. I have myself visited on several occasions, among the other Public Establishments, the chief Educational Institutions in this Island. Their condition is generally satisfactory. The new Central School, or Victoria College, is much needed, and will provide accommoda- tions for at least seven hundred students.

18. In connection with this subject, the Government proposes, with your concurrence, to follow the precedent of other Colonies by sending, in alternate years, in accordance with Regulations which will be submitted to you, two of the most promising students of our chief Colleges, selected by competitive examination, to complete their professional education in England, especially in Law, Medicine, and Civil Engineering.

19. Those minor posts in the Public Service which are at the disposal of the Governor, were wisely thrown open by my predecessor to competitive examination, without distinction of race or creed. A much needed stimulus has thus been given to general Education, while the Government will secure a constant supply of eligible candidates for the several Departments.

20. A Report will be laid before you showing the considerable progress already made in the afforestation of this Colony. I have directed the introduction of several thousand plants of the Australian Eucalyptus, a tree which furnishes valuable timber, and also exercises a marked sanitary influence, as experience in many tropical and semi-tropical countries has amply proved.

21. You will perceive from papers on the table that it has been necessary to procure a new supply of arms for the Police; for the care of which, and for the proper drill and instruction of the corps you have already made provision.

22. The Imperial Government, on my recommendation, has presented a full equipment of guns and rifles to the Hongkong Volunteer Artillery; which body, it is hoped, will furnish a valuable addition to the numerical strength of the garrison.

23. I have represented to the Imperial Government in strong terms the necessity of completing the Fortifications of this important Naval and Military Station and Mart of Commerce. Without refering to the value of the other and manifold inter- ests, both Imperial and Colonial, which are at stake, I may remind you that Official Statistics show that the tonnage of the shipping entered at the Port of Hongkong in the year 1883 exceeded five millions of tons; that is, it exceeded the tonnage

of the shipping entered at the Port of London in 1843, the year in which Hong- kong was annexed to the British Crown, at a period when this island was little more than a barren rock, uninhabited save by a few Chinese pirates and fishermen.

24. I have now, Honourable gentlemen, referred to the principal subjects which will be submitted for your consideration during the present Session. Governors and Legislatures should speak by their actions; and it is my confident hope that our united efforts will, by the blessing of Divine Providence, promote the general welfare and prosperity of all races and classes in this Colony.

G. F. BOWEN.

+

Address of the Legislative Council in reply to the Speech of

His Excellency the Governor.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY,

We, the members of the Legislative Council of Hongkong, in Council assembled, beg to thank Your Excellency for the Speech with which you have opened this · the first Session of the re-constituted Legislature of the Colony.

2. We desire to offer to Your Excellency our cordial congratulations upon · the wise and salutary reform in the constitution of the Council which has been granted by Her Majesty's Government, on your recommendation, and with which your name will for ever be associated. We heartily concur in Your Excellency's expectation that the Government cannot fail to profit by the advice and assistance of an increased number of Unofficial Members; and that the entire Legislature will be animated by a common desire to promote the general welfare and progress of the community.

3. We concur in the advisability of assimilating the proceedings of this Legis- lature to the constitutional forms established in the other principal Crown Colonies.

4. Your Excellency's recommendation concerning the appointment of Com- mittees of Finance, Law, and Public Works will receive our immediate attention.

5. We assure Your Excellency that we shall not fail to give our careful consideration to every question and measure which may be brought before us.

6. We learn with much pleasure that the Financial position of the Colony, as shown by the Official Statistics, is satisfactory.

7. We agree with your Excellency in the opinion that, in justice to the present generation of tax-payers in Hongkong, a moderate loan should be raised, on the exhaustion of the existing assets, to defray a portion of the cost of those Sanitary and other Public Works, which are recognised as of permanent importance for the security of the general health and well-being of our population.

8. The Estimates for 1885 will receive our careful attention, when they are laid before us.

9. We shall examine the Legislative Measures proposed with the careful deli- beration which their importance requires.

10. We thank Your Excellency for the attention which you have given to the circumstances of the so-called Blockade of Hongkong; and we shall be glad to assist in bringing about an equitable settlement of this difficult question.

11. We have received with gratification Your Excellency's statement in regard to the Sanitary Reforms which are now in progress; and we trust that the further measures necessary for the preservation of the Public Health will continue to occupy the earnest attention of the Government.

12. The want of house accommodation for the labouring classes of this com- munity is a growing evil which we have watched with some alarm; and we shall be glad to co-operate with the efforts of the Government to alleviate the pressure

felt in that direction.

13. We cordially approve the steps proposed to be taken to enforce the fulfil- ment of building covenants in leaseholds, and we trust that any additional security of tenure which may be granted to the smaller class of tenants will operate bene- ficially in diminishing the evils of overcrowding.

14. The drainage of the Marsh within the Race Course in the Wong-nei Chung Valley will confer a boon upon the community by providing a much-needed place of Recreation, and will in our opinion at the same time prove of great advantage to the Public Health.

15. We learn with satisfaction the completion of the Break-water and Meteoro- 'logical Observatory, and the progress already made in such important and necessary Public Works as the Tai-tam Water Works; the Government Hospital; the Lunatic Asylum, and that the New Central School and the New Central Market will be

commenced forthwith.

16. We trust that the forcible representation made by Your Excellency to the proper Imperial Authorities of the sanitary and other advantages to be derived from the junction of the Eastern and Western Prayas, will be crowned with success.

17. We have observed with interest the activity with which your Excellency has, during the short period of your Government, acquired a personal acquaintance with our chief Public Institutions. We shall gladly second your efforts to raise the standard of public Education here, and to enable a certain number of our most promising youths to complete their professional studies in England. We regard, moreover, with satisfaction the continuance of the competitive system for entrance into the Civil Service of Hongkong, consonant as that system is alike with modern English, and with ancient Chinese custom.

18. We learn with pleasure the steady progress of the important work of afforestation, which, we hope will, here as elsewhere, influence favourably the climate,

and so benefit the public health.

19. We entirely concur in the steps taken to promote the efficiency of the Police, a matter of the utmost importance in a community circumstanced as is that of Hongkong.

20. We trust that the organisation and equipment given to the Volunteer Artillery will not only render that body efficient in any time of emergency,

but

will also tend to foster in our midst a patriotic spirit of national union and loyalty.

21. We agree with Your Excellency as to the urgent importance of placing Hongkong in that condition of defence which is rendered necessary by the magnitude of the interests, both Imperial and Colonial, which are here at stake.

22. We cannot bring this address to a close without repeating our grateful appreciation of the constant and enlightened attention devoted by Your Excellency to the requirements of all classes and races in this community, and to the initiation of measures calculated to promote the prosperity and advancement of this Colony. We trust that the loyal co-operation of the Governor and of the Legislative Council will, under the Divine Blessing, secure the general welfare and contentment of our population.

Correspondence respecting the Police, presented to the Legislative Council by command of His Excellency the Governor.

Reports by the Acting Captain Superintendent.

(1.)

CENTRAL POLICE BARRACKS, HONGKONG, 21st November, 1883.

SIR,

As the Police Force in Shanghai has lately been placed on a new footing as regards numbers, rates of pay, &c., I have the honour to forward the accompanying scale of

pay

of the different ranks of the Hongkong Police Force as compared with that of Shanghai.

It will be seen that all ranks of the Shanghai Force are better paid, with the exception of the 1st Class Inspectors, than corresponding ranks of the Hongkong Police; and I fear that such a difference in pay must eventually tend to lessen the efficiency of the latter Force.

All the Inspectors and eight Sergeants of the Hongkong Police have now completed ten years service, and can retire on a pension and join the Shanghai Force, where they would get better pay, which, with their pension, would add materially to their income, besides serving for a fresh pension.

Another point in favour of men joining the Shanghai Police in preference to that of Hongkong is, that in the former a man after serving 5 years gets a bonus and passage to England, and in the latter he gets a bonus or passage.

In the scale of pay &c., which I have the honour to forward, will be seen, under the head of Hongkong, the number of Europeans serving as authorised, shewing the pay they receive at present, and also a proposed rate of pay which would put them on somewhat a similar footing with the Europeans of the Shanghai

Force.

I would suggest that Acting Sergeants be done away with, and the substantive rank of Corporal substituted.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your most obedient Servant,

T. C. DEMPSTER, Captain, Acting Captain Superintendent of Police.

The Honourable

THE COLONIAL SECRETARY,

&c.,

&c..

&c.

COMPARATIVE RATE OF PAY.

HONGKONG.

AT PRESENT.

PROPOSED.

Rank.

SHANG- HONG-

HAI, KONG, per month. per month.

No. of Officers.

Amount.

No.

Per month. Amount.

$

$

Chief Inspector,. 1st Class

150.00 120.00

1

1,440.00

1

150.00 1,800.00

100.00 100.00

4

29

4,800.00

100.00

4,800.00

2nd

3rd

""

""

85.00 80.00

3

وو

2,880.00

85.00

3,060.00

75.00 60.00

4

2,880.00

4

75.00

3,600.00

1st Sergeant,

60.00 45.00

11

5,940.00

11

52.00

6,864.00

2nd

>>

55.00

10

48.00

Corporals

5,760.00

3rd

50.00

وو

Constables,

45.00

40.00

88

42,240.00

78

45.00 42,120.00

Allowance to 10 P.C.

2.50

300.00

as Actg. Sergeants,

$ 60,480.00

$ 68,004.00

T. C. DEMPSTER, Captain,

Acting Captain Superintendent of Police.

(2.)

CENTRAL POLICE BARRACKS, HONGKONG, 21st November, 1883.

SIR,

1. I have the honour to bring to your notice some points concerning the efficiency of the Hongkong Police Force, to which it seems desirable to draw early

and serious attention.

2. The European and Indian portion of the Force number nearly 300 strong, they are armed with Rifles, and it is very essential for many reasons that they should be a drilled and disciplined body capable, when required, of united action. These reasons arise partly from the nature and ordinary functions of the Hongkong Police, partly from the duties which might fall to their share during a time of

emergency.

3. In dealing with this force it would be well to dismiss all recollections of the corresponding body in England. The Hongkong Police, however, presents a close analogy to the Royal Irish Constabulary. Like them they are an armed force; like them much of their duties lie amid a passively or actively hostile population, while the Lily and Triad secret societies are organisations more widely spread than even the Fenian Brotherhood, or the band of Invincibles. The Hongkong Police are, moreover, often called on to cope with not only individual criminals, but with bodies of armed men organised for the sake of crime. A short time ago a shop in the centre of the town was attacked by a large band of armed men, and everyone acquainted with Hongkong knows how frequently the Police have been called upon to encounter armed gangs of pirates and smugglers.

No. 344.

4. These are among the ordinary duties of the Police, but in case of

any out- break among the native population, or invasion by a Foreign enemy, I would ven- ture to point out that the fighting strength of the Garrison is rarely over 600 men, that an addition of these 300 trained police could not fail to be a valuable assistance; but that untrained men degenerate into a mere mob, useless in themselves, and calculated only to impede the Troops with whom they may be called upon to serve.

5. To ensure the objects I have had the honour to lay before you, I consider it would be very advisable that a Military Adjutant should be attached to the Force, who, besides assisting the Captain Superintendent in his general duties, would pay special attention to the drill and discipline of the men, and to their Musketry Instruction and care of their Rifles, many of those at present issued being honey- combed and unfit for use.

6. I would also suggest that a drill Sergeant should be appointed to the Force, with the rank say of Sergeant-Major, and pay of a Sergeant; he could be included in the number of European Sergeants allowed in the estimates; thus no extra ex- pense would be incurred.

7. As the Indian Contingent is a most important branch of the Force, there should also be a good drill Sergeant for it, and I would suggest that application be made to India for a Havildar Major from a Native Regiment.

8. With reference to a Military Adjutant being attached, I beg to state that during the absence on leave of Mr. DEANE, I shall of course superintend the drills, Musketry Instruction, &c., having been for some years Adjutant of my Regiment before obtaining my Company.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your most obedient Servant,

T. C. DEMPSTER, Captain,

Late Captain 28th Regiment, Acting Superintendent of Police.

(3.)

CENTRAL POLICE STATION,

HONGKONG, 17th December, 1883.

SIR,

I have the honour to bring to your notice that from information received,

I have reason to believe that large bodies of armed Chinese, smugglers, &c., chiefly from the mainland, are in the habit of proceeding through the streets of the city, escorting Opium to boats at the wharves.

On the 28th ultimo I instructed the Police to look out for these men, and they arrested three with arms.

On the 7th instant, I also gave instructions, and the Police met a body of men numbering about 100, armed in various ways, and they arrested 34 of them armed with loaded Rifles and Revolvers, &c.

There is no doubt, but that the carrying of arms by such large bodies of men, no matter what excuse they give before the Magistrates, (vide Section XVIII of Ordinance 14 of 1870) must be dangerous and prejudicial to the peace and good order of the city.

These men might at any time, trusting to their number and organisation, make attacks on shops and houses in the streets near the Praya, as in September 1878, when an attack was made in Winglok Street.

The fact of the presence of these armed bands in the Colony and its vicinity, shows the necessity of having the Police instructed in such a manner as to act together with discipline, and to be trained or drilled to the use of the Rifle they carry; and it strengthens that part of my letter No. 315 of the 21st November, 1883, reporting the advisability of the Hongkong Police receiving Military instruction, and the appointment of a Military Adjutant to the Force, especially when the Superintendent is not a Military Officer.

Some time ago at Kowloon, i.e. on British territory, a band of smugglers fired on a small party of Police who returned the fire, but with what effect has not been discovered; but now that the Police Rifle range is nearly completed, I hope to be able to put every man through a course of musketry during this winter.

I have the honour to be,

The Honourable

Sir,

Your most obedient Servant,

T. C. DEMPSTER, Captain, Acting Captain Superintendent of Police.

THE COLONIAL SECRETARY,

&c.,

&c.,

&c.

+

1

Memorandum on the subject of new Police Pension Rules and Increased Rates of Pay for the Police.

Presented to the Legislative Council by command of H. E. the Governor.

No. 139, par. 2.

28th August,

par. 2,

In Lord DERBY'S Despatch of 11th July 1883 he says, referring to my Memoran- dum of 18th December 1882 on the subject of Police Pensions, "I will address you in a separate Despatch as to the fresh Pension Minute which will have to be issued to take the place of that of 17th March, 1874." This further Despatch has not yet been No. 183 of received and consequently no action has yet been taken upon another Despatch of Lord DERBY stating that he is prepared to sanction certain increases of pay to the Force, provided they are voted by the Legislative Council, and conditional on the withdrawal of the privilege of remitting home half their pay at 4/2d. I understand that the men now engaged on condition of earning a pension under the existing Pension Minute of 17th March, 1874, at the end of 10 years' service, will consent not only to the with- drawal of the privilege of remitting half their pay at 4/2d., but also to the prolongation of the service entitling them to Pension, from ten years to fifteen years, provided their

pay

is increased to the rates proposed.

Under these circumstances I submit for His Excellency's consideration a draft of a new Pension Minute, which, if approved, might be sent home for the approval of the Secretary of State. I would propose that if this Minute is sanctioned, all the European Police who consent to its substitution for the one of 17th March 1874, which now applies to them, should receive pay at the increased rates from 1st January instant, ceasing from that date to enjoy the privilege of remitting half their pay at 4/2d. Also that the newly recruited European Constables, who have not the privilege of remitting at 4/2d., should be allowed to draw the same rates. In the case of these men the ques- tion of Pension has been left open by the Secretary of State; but as it might be urged that as the Pension Minute of 1874 had not been repealed when they enlisted, it there- fore applied to them, they should, I think, all receive the increased pay conditional on their subscribing to the terms of the new Pension Minute. I have shown the new draft minute to the Acting Captain Superintendent who anticipates no trouble in its general adoption by the whole of the European Police Force. As regards Sikhs and Chinese, who are to receive no increase of pay, the new Pension Minute would only apply to those who enlist after its promulgation.

If this is approved by His Excellency I would propose to ask the Council to vote the sum of $6,684, being the amount of the increased rates of pay for the present year. The loss on the amount which the Police are entitled to remit at 4/2d., may be estimated for the year 1884, at the rate of 3/8d., to be $3,477:89. The real increase, therefore, in the expenditure will be $3,206.11, but the larger sum indicated above, viz. $6,684 is the

one which the Council should be asked to vote.

The Finance Committee on 21st June, 1883, approved of His Excellency's appro- val to increase the pay of the Police, but no definite sum has been voted and a formal vote of Council is therefore necessary. Since the question was submitted to the Finance Committee by His Excellency's orders, an additional reason for increasing the pay of the Force has been furnished by the higher rates of pay now offered by the Municipality of Shanghai. One of our best Inspectors has claimed his pension and is going to serve in the Shanghai Force, and another is I believe going to follow his example. These men will not only get better pay at Shanghai, but will also draw at the same time handsome pensions from Hongkong. Fortunately only a limited number can be em- ployed there, for it would be to the advantage of all men who can claim pensions here to retire at once and re-enlist at Shanghai, thus getting pension and pay at the same time.

The Acting Captain Superintendent of Police suggests that there should be two- instead of three classes of Inspectors, that the rank of Acting Sergeant should be abolished, and Corporals appointed instead. If his suggestions are adopted, the extra sum to be voted will be increased from $6,684 to $7,524. This latter question is left by the Governor for the consideration of the Finance Committee.

W. H. MARSH.

SUGGESTED THAT THERE BE BUT TWO CLASSES OF INSPECTOR,

ABOLISHING THAT OF 3RD CLASS.

The pay to be as follows:-

Per month.

5 1st class at $100,

Per year.

$6,000)

$11,760

6 2nd

""

"}

80,

5,760

Increase,......

..$1,200

SERGEANTS.

11 Sergeants at $52,

$ 6,864

Increase,..

924

CONSTABLES.

88 Constables at $45,

Increase,.

*Allowances to 10 as Acting Sergeants at $3,

Increase,...

$47,520

5,280

420

120

Total Increase,.

*The Rank of Acting Sergeants to be abolished, and that of Corporal substituted.

A

$7,524

A savings bank if possible to be established, or a Constable to be allowed to leave his pay or portion of it in the hands of the Government, and to receive interest.

17th October, 1883.

(Signed)

T. C. DEMPSTER, Acting Captain Superintendent of Police.

<}

I

PROPOSED INCREASE IN THE SALARIES OF THE POLICE FORCE.

4 Inspectors of 3rd class, present pay,

Proposed,.

Proposed Increase.

Actual Increase.

$ c.

$ c.

$720

480.00

840

Proposed by the Act. Capt. Supt. of Police.

C.

Actual Increase, i. e. taking into consideration half)

pay remitted home at 4/2, whilst current rate is

286.38

3/8 per $,

11 Sergeants, present pay,

.$540

924.00

924.00

Proposed,....

624

Actual Increase, as above,...........

519.09

88 Constables, present pay,

$480

5,280.00

5,280.00

Proposed,....

540

Actual Increase, as above,.

2 classes of Inspectors instead of 3, 5 of 1st class, and 6 ofì

2nd class,

2,400.64

1,200.00

Allowance to 10 Acting Sergeants, at $31,

120.00

$6,684.00

$3,206.11 $7,524.00

(Signed)

J. M. A. SILVA, Audit Clerk.

Audit Office, Hongkong, 2nd January, 1884.

Draft

Regulations made by the Governor in Council, in pursuance of Section 4 of Ordinance No. 8 of 1869, for the granting of Police Pensions.

1. The following Regulations apply to all Inspectors, Sergeants, Sergeant Inter- preters, and Constables of the Police Force who may join after the present date; excep- ting those who may enlist under special agreement.

2. Subject to the exceptions and provisions hereinafter contained, a Pension will be granted to any Member of the Force, who has completed fifteen years' service, at a rate not exceeding 20/60ths of the Annual pay of his rank, provided he shall have been in receipt of the same for the last three years; otherwise, the Pension shall be calculated upon the average amount of pay received by such person during the three years next preceding the commencement of such Pension. Further, for every full and complete year's service after fifteen years, an addition to the Annual Pension of 1/60th part of his annual pay shall be made for each additional year of such service.

3. Any Member of the Force who may be invalided after serving ten complete years and under fifteen years, may (provided that such invaliding be not the conse- quence of intemperate or vicious habits) be granted a Pension not exceeding 15/60ths of the average of the Annual pay of his rank during the past three

years for ten years' service, and 1/60th for each full and complete year's service after ten years.

4. Any Member of the Force who may be invalided as aforesaid before the completion of ten years' service may be granted a Gratuity not exceeding one month's pay for each complete year's service.

5. Extra pay for acting appointments will in no case be taken into consideration in determining the amounts of Pension or Gratuity.

6. All Pensions granted shall be payable in Hongkong or London, or in the principal towns of British India.

7. Full Pensions or Gratuities will be granted only on the Candidate's conduct having been uniformly good.

8. Should the Candidate's conduct not have been uniformly good, a modified Pension, or Gratuity will be granted. Should his conduct have been decidedly bad, no Pension or Gratuity will be paid.

9. A Commuted Payment, calculated at five times the amount of the Annual Pension, may be granted in lieu of a Pension, if the applicant will be unable to draw his Pension at any of the places before mentioned, or on the application of the Grantee, at the discretion of His Excellency The Governor.

10. If any person receiving a Pension under these Regulations should be appointed to fill

any Office in any Public Department, such Pension shall cease to be paid for any period subsequent to such appointment, if the annual amount of the profits of the Office to which he shall be appointed shall be equal to those of the Office formerly held by him; and in case it shall not be equal to those of his former Office, then no more of such Pension shall be paid to him than what with the Salary of his new appointment shall be equal to the profits of his former Office.

11. A pension is granted only on the condition that it becomes forfeited, and may be withdrawn by His Excellency the Governor, in any of the following cases :-

(a.) On the conviction of the Grantee for any indictable Offence. (b.) On his knowingly associating with thieves or suspected persons.

(c.) On his refusing to give information and assistance to the Police whenever in his power, for the detection and apprehension of Criminals, and for the suppression of any

disturbance of the public peace.

(d.) If he enter into or continue to carry on any business, occupation, or employ- ment which shall be, in the opinion of His Excellency the Governor, disgraceful itself or injurious to the Public, or in which he shall make use of the fact of his former employment in the Police in a manner which His Excellency the Governor considers to be discreditable and improper.

Council Chamber,

Hongkong,

188

Clerk of Councils.

per $100.

Pensions paid in London will be at the rate of 4/2 the dollar, and those paid in India at the rate of 227 Rupees

Presented to the Legislative Council, by command of His Excellency the Governor.

Draft Regulations for Government Scholarships for the Study of Law, Medicine, or Civil Engineering, in Great Britain.

1. The Government of Hongkong offers two Scholarships of £200 (two hundred pounds) each, per annum, for four years, to students of Victoria, St. Joseph's, and St. Paul's Colleges in the Colony of Hongkong, on the following conditions:-.

2. One Scholarship will be awarded in each alternate year.

3. The Scholarships will be awarded after competitive examination to the Candidate who obtains the highest marks, but subject to the restriction mentioned below in § 5.

CANDIDATES.

4. The Candidates will be students approved by the Governor from Victoria, St. Joseph's, and St. Paul's Colleges, Hongkong; and will be required to bring the following certificates:-

(a.) Certificate of good moral character.

(b.) Certificate of age. Candidates must not exceed 20 years, nor be below 17 years.

(c.) Certificates that they have been students for at least the three (3) years last past previous to the Examination, at the College that presents them, or at any two of the above named colleges.

5. The successful candidate will be required.

(a.) To proceed to England within two months of his election.

(b.) On his arrival there, to report himself to the Colonial Office as having entered his name at the College specified by the Colonial Government, forwarding in proof thereof a letter from the Principal.

(c.) To forward quarterly to the Crown Agents for the Colonies a certificate of good conduct and proficiency in study from the Principal or Head, upon receipt of which the quarterly instalment of his Scholarship will be paid to him.

6. The holder of the Scholarship will cease to be entitled to draw any money if he fail in any of these requirements.

7. Passage will be paid to England by the Government.

8. Return Passage will also be paid, if nothing shall have occurred to disqualify the holder of the Scholarship.

9. The holder of the Scholarship will not be allowed to remove to any other College or Institution than the one specified by the Examiners, without the permission of the Secretary of State.

EXAMINATION.

10. The time of Examination will be within the first fourteen days of the month of December. 11. The first Examination will take place in December, 1884, and due notice of it will be given in the Gazette.

EXAMINERS.

12. The Examiners will be the Board of Examiners. Three wil form a quorum.

SUBJECTS.

13. The subjects, with the maximum marks attached, will be the following:-

English Grammar,

""

Composition,...........

""

History,

Literature,

""

Geography,.

.....

Arithmetic, Algebra, Euclid, Mensuration,

...100

..200

600

..150

..150

...100

....100

..100 > 500

..100

...100

Latin, or Chemistry, or both, may be offered instead of Euclid or Mensuration, or both, and will be allowed 100 marks each.

14. No candidate will be elected who fails to get 400 marks in the four English subjects, together with 300 marks in the remaining subjects.

DETAILS OF SUBJECTS.

15. Instead of Composition, Chinese Candidates will be allowed to offer Translation from Chinese into English.

History.-An Epoch to be selected from time to time by the Examiners.

Literature.-A Hand book on English Literature, and some special play or plays of Shakespeare or work of other English poet to be selected from time to time by the Examiners.

Geography.-Political and Physical General, but special knowledge of China, of the British Isles, and of the British Colonies and Dependencies will be required.

Arithmetic. All the subjects included in the usual standard text books.

Algebra. To Quadratic Equations inclusive.

Euclid.-Book I at least.

Latin. Some simple book as Cæsar or Cornelius Nepos, with Grammar and Translation of short simple sentences into Latin.

Chemistry.-Elementary.

16. In every case the names of the first six candidates will be published in the Gazette in order of merit, with the number of marks obtained and the names of the Colleges where they were educated.

17. It will be in the discretion of the Examiners to select, with the approval of the Governor, the College to which the holder of the Scholarship shall be sent; but King's College, London, is recommended as the best suited for finishing the education of boys and beginning the course of study required by men in the same establishment.

Hongkong, 2nd January, 1884.

+

No. 122.

Correspondence respecting the Postal Service.

Presented to the Legislative Council by command of H. E. the Governor.

The Governor to the Secretary of State.

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, HONGKONG, 26th June, 1883.

1

*Already printed.

MY LORD,

In continuation of my despatch No. 76 of the 21st May ultimo, concerning the question raised in your Lordship's Despatch No. 18 of the 18th January ultimo, respecting the claim made on this Colony on account of certain losses on the Postal contract in force, I have now the honour to transmit the report* of the Treasurer and Postmaster General (the Honourable A. LISTER); to which is appended a Report from the Hongkong Chamber of Commerce.

2. This question has been carefully considered by the Executive Council and by the Financial Committee of the Legislative Council, which, it will be remem- bered, is a Committee of the whole Council, so that its reports are practically equivalent to votes of the Colonial Legislature. I append the resolutions of these bodies on the subject; and I strongly recommend them to the favourable con- sideration of Her Majesty's Government.

"(5.) Read:-Secretary of State's Despatch No. 18 of the 18th January last, together with its enclosures, on the subject of a proposal that this Colony should contribute a larger sum to make good the loss caused to the Imperial Government by the Postal contract now in force.

Read also:-The Postmaster General's report thereon, dated the 12th April last.

Read also:-A resolution of the Executive Council on the subject, dated the 20th instant.

The Committee concur in this resolution, which is as follows :—

(a.) That the Secretary of State be asked to reconsider the question of a further Postal Contribution from the Revenue of this Colony.

(b.) That the Colony is prepared to pay a fixed total annual sum of £4,000 from February 1st, 1880, towards the loss of the Imperial Government on the mail Contract, it being clearly understood that the former fluctuating payment of about £3,000 a year is to cease from the above date.

(c.) That the attention of the Secretary of State be especially called to the fact that the above proposed payment will absorb the whole annual profit on working the Post Office, which profit is mainly derived from local postage and is unconnected with any subsi- dised mail line.".

3. In my previous despatch No. 76 of 1883 on this question, I expressed the deep sense entertained by the Government, the Legislature, and the Public of Hongkong of the efforts made by your predecessor in your present office (the EARL OF KIMBERLEY) to prevent an unfair and excessive charge being imposed on this Colony. It is confidently hoped that these efforts will be continued by your Lordship, and that they will prove successful.

I have, &c.,

(Signed)

G. F. BOWEN.

The Right Honourable THE EARL OF DERBY,

HONGKONG,

No. 247.

Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies,

&c.,

&c.,

&c.

The Secretary of State to the Governor.

DOWNING STREET,

9th November, 1883.

SIR,

Your Despatch No. 122 of the 26th of June, relating to the question of the contribution to be made by the Government of Hongkong to the loss on the Eastern Mail Service, was referred for the consideration of the Treasury and the General Post Office, and I have the honour to convey to you, for your consideration, a copy of the correspondence which has passed on the subject.

I

request that you will

propose to your Council to vote a contribution for the term of the present contract, including the arrears payments from its commence- ment, at the rate of six thousand pounds per annum.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your most obedient, humble Servant,

Governor Sir G. F. BOWEN, G.C.M.G.

&c.,

&c.,

&c.

(Copy.) 16,385.

SIR,

The Treasury to the Colonial Office.

DERBY.

TREASURY CHAMBERS,

29th September, 1883.

I am directed by the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury to transmit to you herewith, with reference to your letter of the 13th ultimo, copies of a Report from the Postmaster General, dated the 17th instant, and of the enclosure thereto, respecting the amounts which Her Majesty's Government have called upon the Governments of the Straits Settlements and Hongkong to contribute towards the loss incurred in providing the Mail Packet Service between England and those Colonies, under the Contract with the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company which came into force on the 1st of February, 1880.

I am to request that you will move the Earl of DERBY to cause My Lords to be informed if the Government of the Straits Settlements are prepared, after learning the result of the Conference between Mr. TROTTER, Auditor General of the Straits Settlements, and Messrs. REA and CARDIN of the General Post Office, to make any further offer as to the amount of their contribution, and further if the Ceylon Government are prepared to subscribe the annual sum demanded from that Colony.

I have, &c.,

THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE,

(Copy.)

COLONIAL OFFICE.

(Signed)

J. H. COLE.

The General Post Office to the Treasury.

GENERAL POST OFFICE,

17th September, 1883.

MY LORDS,

I have the honour to return the papers No. 14,744 referred to me on the 15th ultimo, respecting the amounts which Her Majesty's Government have called upon the Governments of the Straits Settlements and Hongkong to contribute towards the loss incurred in providing the Mail Packet Service between England and those Colonies, under the Contract with the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company which came into force on the 1st of February, 1880.

Both Colonies appeal against the amount of the assessment, and seem to think it hard that they should be called upon to contribute towards the support of a Contract which they had no voice in making.

The principal point urged by the Government of Hongkong is its inability to pay so large a contribution as £12,700 a year, and it offers, in lieu of that sum, a fixed annual payment of £4,000 from the 1st of February, 1880.

The Governor of the Straits Settlements states that he has laid the correspon- dence before the Legislative Council, but that no discussion has yet taken place upon the question. Before taking action, he has asked that the matter may be personally discussed between Mr. TROTTER, Auditor General and late Colonial Postmaster General, now in England, and the Post Office Authorities. In accor- dance with this suggestion, a Meeting has taken place at this Department with the results reported in the accompanying Memorandum. It will be seen that Mr. TROTTER has been set right on several technical points, on which he had formed erroneous views, with reference to the Postal arrangements between the United Kingdom and the Straits Settlements.

As there seems to be an impression in the two Colonies that the idea of calling upon them to share the loss on the Packet Service is a novel one, it may not be out of place to remind Your Lordships that, this question is by no means one of yesterday.

It originated no less than nine years ago, when in 1874 urgent application was made by the Government of the Straits Settlements to the Home Government to reduce the postage on letters between this Country and the Straits Settlements. This application was supported by Memorials from the Singapore Chamber of Commerce and the Straits Settlements Association in London. The rate of postage was then 1/- the half ounce via Southampton, and 1/1 via Brindisi; it is now 5d. by the accelerated route of Brindisi.

The Post Office, in replying to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, declined to recommend the Government to reduce the postage, pointing out that, even at the comparatively high rates of postage then existing, the loss sustained by the Imperial Government on the India and China lines amounted to about £147,000 a year, to which India alone contributed £60,000 a year, equivalent to one half of the loss sustained on correspondence between this Country and India, while the Straits Settlements contributed nothing.

Lord CARNARVON was apparently struck by this observation, and asked to be furnished with returns shewing, as accurately as possible, the loss sustained by the Imperial Government in connection with the India and China Mail Service, and how far such loss was attributable to the Eastern Colonies, supposing the cost of the Service could be rateably distributed amongst all the localities served under the Contract then existing. His Lordship further stated that it might be a subject worthy of the consideration of the Government of the Straits Settlements whether it might not be desirable, for the sake of furthering the commercial interests of the Colony, to divide the charge occasioned by their Mail Service between the Imperial and Colonial Governments, the postal rates being reduced, and the Colony being allowed to have the advantage in a reduction, either of the annual contribution, or of the postal rates, in the event of the loss being subsequently reduced by increased revenue arising from the growth of correspondence. Lord CARNARVON proposed to communicate such information to the Governments of Ceylon and Hongkong as well as to that of the Straits Settlements.

Lord JOHN MANNERS gladly welcomed the suggestion thrown out by Lord CARNARVON, and furnished the necessary returns which, it is believed, were forwarded to the Colonies concerned; but nothing came of the suggested division of the loss between them and the Mother Country.

In 1879, however, the matter was taken up by the Treasury on the eve of the new Peninsular and Oriental Contract coming into operation, when Your Lordships, considering the material advantage about to be conferred upon Ceylon, the Straits Settlements, and Hongkong, by the acceleration of their Mails, thought the time had arrived when those Colonies might fairly be called upon for some contribution towards the heavy expense entailed upon the Imperial Exchequer by the Eastern Mail Service.

In a letter from the Colonial Office to the Treasury dated the 26th of June, 1880, the Earl of KIMBERLEY, then the Secretary of State for the Colonies, admitted the justice of the principle that the total amount of loss should be shared in equal proportions between this Country and the Colonies concerned, while regretting that this principle was not laid down and insisted upon at an earlier period. His Lordship seemed to think that the arrangement made for the Colonies to pay half

the additional loss, when their postage was reduced by their entry into the Postal Union, superseded the claim for a contribution of half the loss on the Packet sections, in which the respective Colonies are interested.

It must be borne in mind, however, that, before the Colonies entered the union, a very considerable loss was already sustained, to which they had been asked to contribute, and that it was only a natural condition to lay down, before sanctioning their entering the Postal Union and thus reaping its benefits in the shape of a material reduction of postage, that they should consent to bear half the additional loss thus arising. This condition precedent was of course merely designed to protect the State from further and accumulated losses, and did not in any way abrogate the just claim of Her Majesty's Government to be relieved of half the cost of the Packet Services by which the Colonies so greatly benefit.

The correspondence which has since taken place on this subject is before Your Lordships, and I need not enter further into the discussion. You have already expressed your opinion that the assessment made by this Department could not have been calculated on a fairer basis than that actually adopted, and that the annual payment required from the two Colonies is equitable, and Your Lordships will no doubt consider whether anything has been advanced in the accompanying despatches from Hongkong and Singapore to induce you to modify the decision communicated to the Colonial Office by your letter of the 12th of June, 1282.

THE LORDS COMMISSIONERS OF

HER MAJESTY'S TREASURY.

I have, &c.,

(Signed)

HENRY FAWCETT.

The Treasury to the Colonial Office.

(Copy.) 18,233.

SIR,

TREASURY CHAMBERS,

1st November, 1883.

The Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury have been in communi- cation with the Postmaster General on the subject of the contributions to be paid by the Government of Hongkong to the cost of the Eastern Mail Service, referred to in Mr. BRAMSTON'S letter of the 11th ultimo.

I am directed to transmit to you a copy of the Postmaster General's Report for Lord DERBY's consideration, and I am to request that my Lords may be furnished with His Lordship's opinion thereon.

THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE,

COLONIAL OFFICE.

I have, &c.,

(Signed) J. H. COLE.

(Copy.)

MY LORDS,

The Post Office to the Treasury.

GENERAL POST OFFICE,

25th October, 1883.

I have the honour to return the papers No. 17,496 referred to me by Your Lordships on the 15th instant, respecting the contributions to be paid by the Straits Settlements and Hongkong towards the loss incurred by the Imperial Government in providing the Mail Packet Service between England and the Eastern Colonies, under the Contract with the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company which came into force on the 1st of February, 1880.

In my recent letter on this subject dated the 17th ultimo, I laid before Your Lordships all the observations I desired to make as regards the appeal made by the Governments of both the Straits Settlements and Hongkong, for reconsideration of the claim raised against them, for, practically, the despatch from the Government of Hongkong resolved itself into an appeal against the claim for a contribution of £12,700 a year from that Colony, on the ground that it is unable to meet so large a demand, coupled with an offer to contribute the sum of £4,000 a year from the 1st of February 1880 in lieu of the present fluctuating payment of about £3,000, based on the loss sustained in recent reductions of postage between this Country and Hongkong, consequent on the Colony becoming a Member of the Postal Union and receiving its advantages.

I had not intended to make any comments on the Report of the Colonial Post Master General, which forms one of the enclosures to the Governor's Despatch of the 26th of June last, because it seemed to me to contain no arguments on which to found a case for remission or abatement beyond the mere plea of poverty. The benefit derived by the Colony from the reduction of Postage and the efficiency of the British Mail Service is fully admitted, and the real question at issue is whether the Colony ought to pay, and is able to pay its fair quota towards the heavy expense incurred in maintaining the Packet Service.

It is futile to argue the point with the Colonial Postmaster General whether Hongkong should be required to pay according to the distance over which its Mails are carried. It is clear that the Packet Company has to be paid for the length of the Sea.Service, and the burden must either be shared by the Colony pro rata as proposed, or continue to be borne, as it has been for many years past, by the Mother Country.

As to the arrears of payment, which now amount to about £30,000, I appre- hend that the Colony is mainly accountable for the delay which has occurred in settling the question, for the intention to prefer a claim was mooted as long ago as 1874, and was revived in 1880, on the conclusion of the New Contract with the Peninsular and Oriental Company.

On the 26th of June 1880, the Colonial Office informed Your Lordships that Lord KIMBERLEY was prepared to admit the justice of the principle that the total amount of loss should be shared in equal proportions between this Country and the Colonies concerned, while he regretted that this principle was not laid down and insisted upon at an earlier period, the Correspondence of 1874 having apparently been lost sight of.

As to the principle on which the assessment has been made, it appears to be unassailable, the calculation being based upon the Service rendered, i.e. the number of letters and the distance over which they are carried, and Your Lordships have already been pleased to state that you are unable to see that any fairer basis of agreement could be arrived at.

The only point which, it seems to me, is open to consideration is the ability of the Colony to pay the contribution demanded, and upon this point I am not in a position to offer any useful observations, not being aware of the extent to which taxation can be properly increased in the Colony so as to relieve the Taxpayers of the Mother Country from an unfair burden.

THE LORDS COMMISSIONERS OF

HER MAJESTY'S TREASURY.

I have, &c.,

(Signed)

HENRY FAWCETT.

The Colonial Office to the Treasury.

(Copy.)

SIR,

DOWNING STREET,

9th November, 1883.

I am directed by the Earl of DERBY to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 1st instant, 18,233, enclosing the copy of a report by the Postmaster General respecting the contribution to be paid by the Colony of Hongkong towards the loss incurred on the Eastern Mail Service.

2. The Postmaster General's letter states that the only point now open to consideration is the ability of the Colony to pay the amount demanded by the Imperial Government. Lord DERBY, however, is unable to accept this view of the case, and would again point out that had the question of this contribution been brought forward by the General Post Office in 1878, when the Colonial Office was pressed for an immediate opinion on the respective merits of certain tenders, the Secretary of State would have felt himself quite unable to consent to the contract on the part of Hongkong without first consulting the Colonial Government.

3. Under these circumstances, Lord DERBY considers that, during the con- tinuance of the present Contract, no more than £6,000 per annum can fairly be asked from Hongkong, and the Colonial Government will be invited to vote that

amount.

I am, &c.,

(Signed)

ROBERT G. W. HERBERT.

THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY.

Financial Statement shewing estimated position of Colony at the end of 1883.

Based upon actual Local Revenue and Expenditure for the year, the Crown Agents' Accounts to 30th November, and an Estimate of their Expenditure during December.

1

REVENUE.

Revenue

The Revenue was estimated at

.$1,286,500

Excess over Estimates,

$1,115,665 170,835

$1,286,500

The Ordinary Espenditure has been

$1,165,700

Excess of Revenne over Ordinary Expenditure,

120,800

$1,286,500

EXPENDITURE.

Ordinary,

The Expenditure was estimated at

Excess over Estimate

$1,165,700

$1,086,232 79,468

$1,165,700

Extraordinary-defrayed from Balances-

Tytam Water Works,.

90,966

Breakwater,

....

22,510

Causeway Bay Reclamation,

9,000

Purchase of Houses and Land for New Central

21,000

Market,

Sanitary Works,

30,483

$ 173,959

Total Expenditure, Ordinary and Extraordinary,

Excess över Revenue of year,

1,339,659

53,159

$1,148,664

120,800

$1,269,464

ASSETS.

Balance to the Credit of the Colony on 1st January, 1883, Add Surplus of Revenue of 1883 over Ordinary Expenditure,

....

Deduct-

Extraordinary Expenditure during 1883, defrayed out of Balances,

173,959

Estimated Balance to the Credit of Colony on 31st December, 1883, 1,095,505 Reduction of Balances during 1883,

53,159

$1,148,664

W. H. MARSH,

Auditor General.

Audit Office, 25th January 1884.

HONGKONG.

REPORT

OF THE

COMMISSIONERS

APPOIN

APPOINTED BY

HIS EXCELLENCY W. H. MARSH, C.M.G.,

The Officer Administering the Government of Hongkong,

TO ENQUIRE INTO THE CIRCUMSTANCES ATTENDING THE ALLEGED

SMUGGLING FROM HONGKONG

INTO CHINA

OF OPIUM AND OTHER GOODS,

TOGETHER WITH AN

APPENDIX

CONTAINING MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

COMMISSION, OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENCE, RETURNS,

&C.,

&C.,

HONGKONG: ·

PRINTED BY NORONHA & Co.,

Government Printers.

1883.

A

&c.

}

INDEX.

Commission by His Excellency the Officer Administering the Government,

Report by the Commissioners,..

EVIDENCE:-

Mr. Thomsett, B.N., Harbour Master,

Lau Muk-Shang,

Inspector Cameron,

Inspector McClellan,

Inspector Collaço,.

Mr. Leatherbarrow,

Inspector Mackie,

Inspector Swanston,

Acting Inspector Staunton,.

Inspector Rivers,

Inspector Cradock,

Sergeant Fleming,

Sergeant Butlin,

Inspector Clerihew,

Sergeant Interpreter Wong Lü-p‘áng,

Captain Superintendent Deane,

Deputy Superintendent Creagh,.

Mr. Belilios,

Mr. F. D. Sassoon,

Inspector Quincey,

י

Sergeant Interpreter Wong Ayau,.

Mr. P. A. da Costa,

APPENDIX.

*

Page.

V

VII

1-3 & 16-21

3-4

4-7 & 21-28

7-8

8 & 47

8-9 & 45-47

9-10 & 28-31

.10-11 & 41-45

11-12

12 & 31-33

12-13

.13-14 & 33-35

14 & 35-37

14-15 & 53-61

15 & 47-49

15-16

16.

37-39

39-41

49-50*

50-51

51-53

CORRESPONDENCE AND RETURNS:-

Table showing the Total Importation into Hongkong of Opium, during the last 19

years, and also into China through Foreign Customs,

62

Table showing the quantity of the various kinds of Opium imported into Hongkong

during the last six years,.

62

Return by Messrs. D. Sassoon, Sons & Co., of Opium Imported into China from 1855

to 1872 and 1880 to 1881,...........

4

63

Extract from a Memorandum by the Colonial Treasurer and Registrar General on the

Collection of Foreign Duty on Opium within the Colony,

64-66

(iv)

INDEX,-Continued.

CORRESPONDENCE AND RETURNS,-Continued.

Return by Mr. Wong, showing duties since 1858, on Opium imported into South China from

Hongkong,

Page.

67-68

י

Statement by Mr. Ng as to the Salt tax in China,

69

Letter from the Registrar General as to the Establishment of a Salt Depôt in the centre

of the Colony for issing Licences, &c.,

69-73

Precis of Cases relating to Seizures by Chinese Customs Cruisers of Junks in Hongkong

Waters from August, 1879, to June, 1880,

74-75

J

Notes of Evidence taken at the Supreme Court in two cases of Piracy, shewing the use

which is made by unauthorised persons of the Chinese Customs flag,........

Copy of a Commission furnished by the Board of Lekin to the Commander of a Revenue

Cruiser which was simply handed over to his brother to act for him,

Letter from the Chairman of the Hongkong Chamber of Commerce relative to the alleged

smuggling from Hongkong addressed to the London Chamber of Commerce,

Return of Cases brought before the Marine Magistrate under Section 38 of Ordinance 8 of

1879, since 1st April, 1877, leaving Harbour without proper certificates,........

Attacks and Seizures by Chinese Customs Revenue Cruisers, Reported to the Police, since

1st January, 1877,

76-83

81-82

84-88.

89

90

Letter from Hon. F. B. Johnson calling for Mr. Creagh's report of 21st June, 1877, to

be laid on table of Legislative Council; and also Mr. Creagh's Letter,

Return of cases brought before the Marine Magistrate from 1866 to 1877,.....

Return of Marine Magistrate's Cases forwarded to the Colonial Secretary's Office and not

returned to the Harbour Office,

Notification in Gazette inviting persons to give evidence before the Commission,

91

92

225

92

2 8883

93

Copy of Form sent to Hongkong, Canton and Macao Steam-boat Company by the Foreign Customs Inspectorate at Canton, as to employés of the Company suspected of Smuggling,

Report by Inspector Mackie of Seizure in British Waters by Chinese Cruisers. Police

Action Stopped,

93

93-95

Report by Inspector Mackie of Seizure in British Waters of a Salt junk by Chinese Cruiser,

Report by Inspector Mackie on a case of an armed band of smugglers crossing into China

with Opium to escape the Chinese Customs,

95

96

Letter from Inspector Cradock on the same case,.

96-97

Letter from Captain Deane on the same case,

Report by Inspector Swanston on Smuggling,

97

97-98

Report by Inspector Swanston of Seizure and Search in British Waters by a Chinese Cruiser,

Letter from Captain Superintendent Deane as to whether the Night Pass Ordinance applies to men carrying arms in any part of the Colony other than the City of Victoria,......

Supplementary Letter from Mr. Creagh, explaining his Report on page 91,

Extract from Police Morning Report of 28th March, 1883, relative to Opium Smuggling,

29

27

>>

11th April, 1883,

""

98-99

99-100

100-101

101

101

*

( v )

COMMISSION BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE OFFICER

ADMINISTERING THE GOVERNMENT.

+

[L.S.] W. H. MARSH.

Whereas it is expedient that Inquiry should be made into the circumstances attending

the alleged smuggling into China from this Colony of Opium and other goods, and

whereas such Inquiry can be conveniently conducted by a Commission: Now, therefore,

I, WILLIAM HENRY MARSH, Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint

Michael and Saint George, Officer Administering the Government of the Colony of

Hongkong and its Dependencies, do hereby appoint you SIR GEORGE PHILLIPPO, Knight,

Chief Justice; The Honourable JAMES RUSSELL, Colonial Treasurer; the Honourable

PHINEAS RYRIE, and the Honourable FRANCIS BULKELEY JOHNSON, Members of the

Legislative Council, to be a Commission to make such Inquiry and to take evidence for

the purpose, and to report to me the evidence and your opinion thereon; and I hereby

charge all persons in the public service to assist you herein.

Given under my Hand and the Public Seal of the Colony this 30th day of

December, 1882.

:

By Command,

FREDERICK STEWART,

Acting Colonial Secretary.

REPORT.

+

The Commissioners met at the Council Chamber on the 10th January to arrange the order of their proceedings, and, having nominated a Secretary, it was resolved that the evidence of the Officers of the Harbour Master's Department and Police should first be taken, and that a notice should be published in the newspapers, inviting all persons who might possess information on the subject of smuggling from the Colony into China, to attend and give evidence before the Commission. (See Gazette Notice, Appendix, page 93).

The Commissioners held seven sittings, in the course of which every member of the Civil Service of the Colony, whose testimony it was considered would in any way pro- mote the object for which the Commission was appointed, was examined. The substance of the evidence given was taken down by the Secretary and read over to each of the witnesses respectively, but the Commissioners having subsequently considered that the manner in which the evidence would thus be presented in the Report would be scarcely satisfactory, supplementary sittings were held, when the principal witnesses were examined over again, and their fresh evidence was recorded in an interlocutory form. (See Appendix, pages 16 to 61).

No voluntary witnesses responded to the public invitation of the Commissioners to come forward, but the Commissioners are indebted to Mr. F. D. SASSOON and Mr. E. R. BELILIOS for their attendance, by request, at the sitting of the 18th June, when these gentlemen gave some interesting information as to the general condition of the Opium trade, in which they are largely concerned, as well as to Mr. DA COSTA, the Secretary of the Hongkong, Canton and Macao Steam-boat Company, for some facts connected with smuggling by River steamers.

The Commissioners have had access to official Records, and Returns in Government Departments, bearing upon the question under enquiry, and have gone through about 10 years correspondence between the Canton and the Hongkong Governments in reference to seizures of Junks by Chinese Revenue Cruisers and so-called Customs Revenue Cruisers in Hongkong waters.

The Evidence laid before the Commissioners and elicited by them in the course of examination, leads to the following conclusions:-

(a.) Residents in the Colony, other than Chinese, are not concerned directly or

indirectly in the practice of smuggling.

(b.) Vessels under foreign flags are not engaged in the smuggling trade, and there is no evidence before the Commissioners tending to show that either the officers or crews of such vessels take any direct part in contraband traffic, although it is not improbable that in some cases the employés accept consideration for concealing their knowledge, that Chinese passengers smuggle Opium by steamers entering at Chinese ports.

(viii)

(c.) Smuggling from this Colony into China is carried on wholly by Chinese,

and is with inconsiderable exceptions limited to,

1st, Opium.

2nd, Salt.

3rd, Saltpetre, Sulphur and Munitions of War.

The difficulty of evading the numerous Revenue Stations by the transport across country of bulky goods, otherwise than along usual and guarded routes, and the effective “blockade,” which the geographical position of Hongkong enables the Chinese authorities to maintain, both combine to render the smuggling of general merchandise unremunerative.

OPIUM.

The whole of the Opium imported into China, with the exception of a few chests from Asiatic Turkey, comes from India and Persia, and, for the most part, passes through Hongkong which is a free port without Custom House of any sort. There is therefore no means of obtaining from the local Government Statistics of cargo imported or exported.

However, the number of piculs of Opium imported as given by the Chamber of Commerce for the last 5 years, and confirmed by the Chinese Customs Trade Reports is approximately as follows:-

Malwa.

Patna.

Benares.

Other Sorts.

Total.

1878,

.38,930

34,447

16,804

4,718

94,899

1879,

.42,251

36,722

21,990

7,007

107,970

1880,

.36,449

32,699

22,004

5,687

96,839

1881,

..37,552

31,499

21,708

7,797

98,556

1882,

..29,779

29,536

20,210

6,040

85,565

and it will be seen from the detailed Returns (Appendix, pages 62 & 63) that the quantity entered through the Foreign Custom Houses at the Treaty Ports in 1882, amounted to 65,709 piculs, leaving a balance of 19,856 piculs at Hongkong, to be accounted for.

It is not to be supposed that all the Opium thus left at Hongkong is smuggled into China. A considerable portion goes to the Portuguese settlement of Macao, but by far the larger portion is taken away to non-Treaty Ports by Chinese trading junks, which obtain passes at the local Customs Stations of Ch'éungchau, Kapshuimún and Fatt'auchau, and pay legal dues. These Stations which of course are not on British territory are at the East and West entrances of the Harbour, and were established in 1868 for the collection of Lekin, or extra tariff import duty, generally called "War-tax;" but were subsequently used as Branch Stations of the regular Native Customs as well. Not depending, however, upon the proximity of these Stations, the Chinese authorities have agents in this Colony, who issue passes to trading junks, giving, it would appear, an abatement on "regular duty," "Lekin," and "Coast defence taxes." (See Appendix, pages 64 to 66.) These passes are respected by the Cruisers, and are recognised by the district Custom Houses at the ports and places to which the junks are bound.

It will be seen from the evidence of Mr. BELILIOS (see Appendix pages 37 to 39), and the return of Mr. WONG (See Appendix, pages 67 & 68) that the dues on Opium have increased enormously since 1879; and, as, according to Mr. WONG's return,

the charges on Opium passed through the Native Customs are 25 per cent. less than on Opium shipped

(ix)

in Foreign vessels, it is obvious that the native merchants will ship in Native Craft in preference to Foreign. But the Native Customs, unlike the Foreign Customs, do not regularly publish their returns. They did so on one occasion, however, showing that in 1875, of the 21,670 piculs of Opium left at Hongkong in that year, duty was collected by the Native authorities on 10,813 piculs, (see Command paper 2716, China, No. 2, 1880, cited at page 66 of the Appendix). Making allowance for what is boiled at Hongkong, for local consumption and export, and also what is shipped in its raw state elsewhere than to China, estimated by Sir THOMAS WADE at 7,500 piculs for 1875, the Commissioners think that the number of piculs of Opium smuggled into China from Hongkong, taking the returns for that year as a guide, cannot be more than 4,000 piculs annually; and the weight of the evidence before the Commissioners, whether it be that of the witnesses connected with the Harbour Master's Department, whose special duty it is to exercise supervision over the Native Craft visiting this Harbour, under the laws for suppression of Piracy, or of the Police, leads to the following conclusions:--

1st. That no special class of boats or junks is employed in the smuggling of Opium,

or is fitted out in the Colony for the purpose of such smuggling.

2nd. That it is customary for all Chinese vessels of a certain size to carry small cannon and fire arms for protection against piracy, and although the boats engaged in smuggling opium, which endeavour to evade the Revenue Cruisers, are sometimes better manned and armed than is ordinarily the case with passenger or trading junks, none have come under the notice of the Police as being of sufficient size or armament to enable them to engage successfully in fights with Revenue Cruisers. Opium, however, is frequently concealed in Salt junks, which are, as a rule, more heavily armed than other Native vessels engaged in ordinary trade. These junks are referred to in a separate section.

3rd. The Commissioners having had placed before them the proceedings in the Legislative Council which led to this enquiry, including a Report of Sir JOHN POPE HENNESSY'S speech at Nottingham on the subject of smuggling, and a letter written by the Chairman of the Hongkong Chamber of Commerce in reference thereto, (see Appendix, pages 84 to 88), deem it right to state that no evidence has been adduced in support of a single case of a "Naval Battle fought within the waters of the Colony, or in sight of the island, between Revenue Cruisers and Opium or other smugglers. Native boats endeavouring to evade the Cruisers have been fired upon by the latter outside Colonial waters, and have sought refuge in, and have been frequently chased and captured within the waters of the Colony; and casualties from gunshot wounds have occurred, wounded men having been brought to the island. These casualties amount to five reported to the Police during 5 years, in addition to three men, one Foreigner and two Chinese, who belonged to the P'ingchauhoi Revenue vessel. The evidence at the inquest on the European whose body was found on the rocks near Stanley, tended to shew that the men were killed on a captured junk not belonging to Hongkong, and not carrying Hongkong cargo, although the Jury were compelled to find an open verdict. Except in this case, the casualties above reported have been wholly on the side of the people engaged in smuggling, and were probably caused by the refusal of the crews to bring to their boats for examination when hailed.

( x )

In effect, smuggling of opium is carried on mainly by attempts at concealment in ordinary trading junks, by Chinese passengers in Foreign steamers trading to Treaty Ports, and by small boats which seek to evade the Cruisers and Customs Stations under cover of night.

The great increase which has taken place in the levy of Lekin and other taxes upon Foreign Opium on the Mainland has led, within the last two years, to an organised system of smuggling from the Colony to places at some considerable distance within the neighbouring province of Kwongtung. Bands of men are formed, to whom are given a certain number of balls or cakes of opium by dealers in this Colony, who undertake to pay the bearer of this opium so many dollars per ball or cake delivered at a named place in the interior. These bands, which are sometimes well armed, cross the harbour to the mainland, or gather together in British Kaulung, and endeavour either singly or in parties to evade the guards at the two or three passes in the mountains, which are alone practi- cable to the transit of merchandise. Collisions have been reported to the Police of Hongkong as having occurred at some distance in the interior between these bands of Smugglers and the Customs guards, with alleged loss of life. The state of the law, or the administration of it, in respect of the assembling of unauthorised armed bands on British territory obviously calls for the attention of the Executive.

SALT.

The preparation of Salt in China is a licensed monopoly, and none is prepared in the Colony. The principal Salt pans on the Coast are to the North East of Hongkong, and the distributing trade is a very large one. Numerous junks pass in contiguity to the waters of this Colony bound to Canton and the South West Coast. Many junks discharge their cargoes

in this Harbour, both for the supply of the fishing trade of the Colony and for re-distribution. There is no doubt, according to the evidence before the Commission, that a good deal of the Salt landed here is smuggled to the neighbouring Mainland. Inspector CAMERON estimates the amount at 6,000 piculs a month. The high cost, (See Appendix, page 69) consequent upon an oppressive monopoly of such an important necessary of life, causes contraband trade in the article, and conflicts between Smugglers and the Monopolists to be common all over China. On the other hand it is shown that the Chinese authorities at Canton, by means of their Revenue Cruisers and their licensing agents within the Colony, tax the Salt which is supplied to the fishing vessels of the Colony. (See Appendix, Registrar General's report pages 69 to 73).

Salt smuggled from the Colony is conveyed for the most part in fast rowing boats, carrying about 300 piculs (under 20 tons) each, which seek to evade the Revenue Cruisers by leaving the harbour at night. These boats carry a larger crew than when engaged in ordinary trading, and the men are reported to be well supplied with fire arms. Their object however is flight, not fighting, except as a last resource to resist apprehen- sion, or to defend themselves against pirates, and they would be no match collectively for the Revenue Cruisers. The testimony of the Harbour Master's Department is conflicting as to heavily-armed junks leaving the Colony for the purpose of Salt smuggling. There is no evidence that sea-going junks are fitted out here for such a purpose, and Mr. CLERIHEW, the Inspector of Nuisances, formerly in the Chinese Customs Service, relates that during the time he was quarter-master on board one of the Cruisers, from 1878 to 1880," and many seizures of Opium, Salt, Saltpetre, arms and ammunition were made from Hongkong junks of all sizes outside British waters, the junks did not appear to be

(C

T

[

(xi)

specially armed. He says however that in one case, at all events, of these seizures, people have been killed on both sides. On the other hand a Chinese witness, who was for three years on board the Cruiser P'ingchauhoi, says that he never saw the fire returned by the smuggling boats.

There is great probability that junks conveying Salt, without license from the Salt Commissioner, pass close to this island, on their way from the N.E. Coast to the estuary of the Canton River and the South, and frequently take refuge here, when pursued by the Revenue Cruisers.

The Commissioners have had before them the Report of Mr. C. V. CREAGH, when Acting Superintendent of Police, dated 21st June 1877 and published in the Gazette page 908 of 1882, and on page 91 of the Appendix, relating to an action alleged to have been fought between the Pingchauhoi and some junks, said to have been carrying Salt and Opium, in 1876.

After examining Mr. CREAGH and other officers of Police, and having referred to certain documents written at the time (27th and 29th November, 1876), the Commissioners have come to the conclusion:-

1st. That there is no evidence to shew that the junks carried opium.

2nd. That they were not Hongkong vessels, but vessels trading with the Colony and said to be licensed by the Salt Commissioner or holding licenses from one of his depôts.

3rd. That they never maintained any naval action against the Revenue Cruiser.

On the contrary, the declarations made before Captain DEANE by the Masters of the junks, and his further inquiry, show that the five junks (not seven as stated by Mr. CAMERON, whose evidence on the subject is entirely hearsay), were licensed Salt junks, that they were attacked on the Canton River, out of sight of Hongkong, and at least seven miles distant from it, and that, on being fired into by the P'ingchauhoi, the crew escaped to the mainland without firing a shot, and found their way to Yaumáti, which is British territory, whilst the junks were detained by the Customs Cruiser, (not returning to repair as stated by Mr. CREAGH).

It is unfortunate that Mr. CREAGH before writing his letter did not consult the Reports made by Capt. DEANE, as this "naval engagement" is the only example cited by him in support of a general statement which might be regarded as reflecting inju- riously on the traders of the Colony. For it is shewn from the records of the depart- ment to which he belonged, that he was wrong in the number of the junks, or that they returned to this Colony, or, if the evidence of the Masters of the junks is to be believed, and there is nothing to contradict it, that they had ever fired a shot. Indeed, as has been stated in the section on Opium, there is no evidence before the Commissioners of any conflicts occurring within the waters of the Colony, or, with the exception of that of Mr. CLERIHEW, in immediate contiguity to Hongkong, between Revenue Cruisers and junks from the Colony for the purpose of smuggling Salt. There is evidence that boats engaged in smuggling Salt from the Colony to the mainland are frequently fired into, and sometimes with loss of life, by the Chinese Cruisers outside Hongkong waters, and there is a great deal of evidence of junks being fired into and seizures being made by Revenue Cruisers, or vessels which assume to be in the employment of the Chinese Government, within the waters of the Colony.

J

(xii)

SALTPETRE, MUNITIONS OF WAR.

These articles are smuggled under the same conditions as opium, by concealment in trading vessels, and by small boats employed to elude detection at night.

GENERAL REMARKS.

So long as a commodity so portable as Opium is heavily taxed, and Salt, an article of common necessity, is made the subject of an oppressive monopoly, contraband trade in both will continue along a Coast so extended as that of China, with or without the existence of Hongkong as a Foreign Colony.

The Island of Hongkong is separated from the Mainland of China by a narrow Strait, varying from half a mile to four miles in breadth, and situated along a shore line faced by a range of high mountains to be crossed only by three or four steep passes. This geographical position, so favourable for a preventive service, whilst affording the Chinese Government the ready means of protecting its revenue, which would be wanting if the Colony were placed at a greater distance, and the Cruisers had to guard an extended length of Coast, is, nevertheless, from the numerous bays, creeks, and inlets along the Chinese Coast, a constant source of annoyance to the Government of China, and induces the maintenance of an armed flotilla for miles up and down the Coast opposite Hongkong.

The measures put in force by the preventive service involve a vexatious inter- ference with the legitimate trade of the Colony, and there is good reason to believe that levies are made which are unknown to and are unauthorised by the Chinese Government. Cruisers are licensed and sub-licensed by very questionable authority, and are guilty of irregular and quasi-piratical acts. It is in evidence that the crews of these vessels are not unaccustomed to convert to their own use, without any official proceedings for con- demnation, goods which they have seized on allegation of being smuggled or contraband (see the Opium case tried, December, 1876, in the Supreme Court, Inspector CAMERON'S evidence, Appendix pages 5 to 7; see also the Saltpetre case tried in the Supreme Court January, 1883, in which it is shown that an irresponsible Chinese obtained from his brother a paper which had been granted to him by the lekin board, and commanded an armed launch in the vicinity of the Harbour, where he captured a junk with Saltpetre, and was about to sell the cargo or part of it in the Colony, when the owners called in the police and charged three men in possession of it as pirates. See also a case in July last where the Chinese flag was used to commit an act of piracy. Appendix, pages 76 to 83).

The Commissioners refer to the letters of Mr. HEWLETT, H. B. M. Consul at Canton, of the 22nd June, and 27th August, 1880,* in which that gentleman informed the Hongkong Government that the five launches Lits'ap, Tsinghoi, Fits'ap, Ts'apsai, and Lingching, were disowned by the Chinese Government, although flying the Imperial flag and using the Men-of-War anchorage at Hongkong. The Viceroy at Canton admitted that they were engaged in levying the Coast defence tax which was farmed out to a Monopolist, but said he could not reprimand the Commanders as they were not in the Government service. These vessels were all accused of preying unlaw- fully upon the junk trade and seizing boats in British waters. In this connection the

* Not published.

1

?

مو

1

(xiii)

Commissioners should observe that during the last 5 years, when a complaint was made to Government by Chinese, that a junk had been overhauled within the waters of the Colony and cargo carried off by a Revenue Cruiser or so-called Revenue Cruiser, the first step taken was to inquire whether a breach of Harbour Regulations had taken place. That was done by the orders of the Governor. If any offence of the kind were proved, penalties of fines and forfeitures which were created for the suppression of piracy were enforced for breach of Harbour Regulations, although the legislature never intended that such punishments should be inflicted on persons engaged in the pursuit of an object not contrary to the law of the Colony. It is a contradiction in terms to speak of smuggling in a free port, but if it is thought expedient to continue the practice recently adopted, a law should be passed declaring smuggling from Hongkong into China illegal, and provisions should be made for the forfeiture of all vessels engaged or suspected to be engaged in the trade, with their cargoes; and non-compliance with Harbour Regulations should be deemed to be conclusive evidence on which to base suspicion. But the Commissioners consider that it is very questionable whether powers which were expressly given to the Executive for the suppression of piracy, and which were only asked for, for that purpose, should be used to punish persons for doing acts which are not illegal in Hongkong, and need hardly remark that, whether it was intended or not, no more effectual means could have been devised to prevent violation of the waters of the Colony from being brought to the notice of this Government than to punish the complainants and to discourage the Police from reporting such occur- rences, unless complaints were first made. (See Inspector MACKIE'S evidence, Appendix, pages 28 to 31, and 93 to 95). Nevertheless the returns printed at pages 74 & 75 of the Appendix shew a very considerable number of seizures. Before passing from this part of the Report, the Commissioners would observe that it is shewn by the records of the Colonial Secretary's Office that the Chinese Customs at the Liümún Pass claimed to collect dues on goods carried from Victoria to Saiwán, ports in the Colony, a pretension on the part of the Chinese Government which it required considerable pressure to remove.

J

The Commissioners submit, with reference to the whole question of smuggling from this Colony into China and the so-called Blockade, that according to International Law it is no part of the duty of the Government of Hongkong to assist the Chinese Government in the collection of its Revenue. Yet, considering the position of Hongkong in relation to the Mainland of China, the Commissioners feel that the Colonial Government is called upon by considerations of policy to prevent in every reasonable way the freedom of this port from being abused by being made the means of defrauding the authorities of the neighbouring Empire of their legitimate dues, provided that the Chinese Government on its part will conform to the provisions of Treaties in respect of Tariff stipulations, and will moreover enter into effective guarantees that the trade of Hongkong shall not be subjected to irregular, indefinite or an exceptional taxation, and that vessels and goods shall not be forfeited, or persons trading to or from Hongkong be punished for smuggling unless by some competent and open tribunal in which com- plete confidence may be reposed by the Hongkong Government.

The Commissioners do not regard it as within the scope of their authority to discuss the merits of the various comprehensive proposals which have from time to time been put forward to reconcile the rights and interests of the respective Govern-

( xiv)

ments, and which it is understood are shortly to be the subject of a conference between Governor Sir GEORGE BOWEN, and H. M.'s Minister to China. They venture, however, to make two suggestions, which, if accepted and carried into practice, would mitigate some of the evils disclosed by the evidence attached to this Report, viz.:-

That the Chinese Government should be called upon to verify the status of the so-called Revenue Cruisers which, carrying an imperial flag, anchor in this Harbour and claim to be regarded as vessels of war, or to be commissioned by the Chinese Government, designations to which it has been shown many of them are not entitled; and that the Government of Hongkong should take into consideration the terms on which vessels engaged in the preventive service of China should be allowed to make use of the waters of the Colony.

That the gathering together of unauthorised armed Bands in British territory, for any purpose whatever, should be prohibited, and that the provisions of law now in force with reference to those persons who do not hold night passes should be made applicable to the entire area of the Colony, if indeed they are not applicable already. The Magistrates have recently decided that the law applies only to Victoria. (See Captain DEANE'S evidence, Appendix, pages 15-16 and 99-100).

The Commissioners regret, that for the more effective prevention of bloodshed along the Chinese Coast the provisions of Ordinance No. 2 of 1868, rendered perpetual by 2. of 1870, regarding the unnecessary armament of junks, cannot with justice be enforced against traders visiting the Harbour. The Chinese Government having refused to co-operate in promoting a general disarmament of native vessels it would be manifestly unfair to leave Chinese Craft in these waters without the means of self protection against piratical attacks and faction fights, which are common throughout the sea-board of the Empire.

Hongkong, 1st September, 1883.

#

GEORGE PHILLIPPO,

JAMES RUSSELL.

P. RYRIE.

Chairman.

F. BULKELEY JOHNSON.

APPENDIX.

EVIDENCE.

FIRST MEETING

of the Commissioners to inquire into the circumstances attending the alleged smuggling into China, from the Colony, of Opium and other Goods,

held on the 10th January, 1883, at the Council Chamber.

Present:-Sir GEORGE PHILLIPPO, Chief Justice, (Chairman).

Honourable J. RUSSELL, Colonial Treasurer.

""

P. RYRIE, M.L.C.

F. B. JOHNSON, M.L.C.

""

It is proposed by Mr. JOHNSON and carried that His Excellency may be asked for the services of Mr. LOCKHART, as Secretary to the Commission.

Preliminaries were discussed and the plan of the inquiry arranged.

The Meeting is adjourned till Tuesday, the 16th instant, at 2.30 P.M.

SECOND MEETING,

16th January, 1883.

Present:-Sir GEORGE PHILLIPPO, Chief Justice, (Chairman).

Honourable J. RUSSELL, Colonial Treasurer.

P. RYRIE, M.L.C.

22

F. B. JOHNSON, M.L.C.

99

Mr. J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART, (Secretary).

H. G. THOMSETT, R.N., Harbour Master and Marine Magistrate, attends and is ex- amined, and when asked by the Chairman what information he could give the Commission with reference to the smuggling of opium replies as follows:----

My only means of knowing of any vessels conveying opium from the port is when the Police arrest junks for endeavouring to leave the harbour without clearances, when the Masters are brought before me as Marine Magistrate, and in the evidence it has come out that they have been conveying opium. During the whole of my career as Harbour Master, now about 22 years, it has not come under my notice that any junks have been specially built or equipped as to armament for the purposes of smuggling opium. The vessels having opium on board in the cases that have come before me have been armed in the way that every ordinary Chinese trader is. In a return sent in to the Government, dated 13th November, 1882, I reported on the vessels that had been found with opium See Post on board from 1877 to 13th November, 1882. These vessels varied in size from 4,000 piculs to a small rowing boat. Their armament was the usual armament carried by all junks, and the quantity of opium carried was smaller as regards the larger vessels than it was in the smaller ones. For example a junk of 4,000 piculs, about 236 tons, had 40 balls of opium: a fishing junk of 124 piculs, about 7 tons, had 350 balls of opium. A small rowing boat, about 30 feet in length by 4 feet in breadth, with a crew of four men, armed with two loaded revolvers, had on board 90 balls of opium.

(2)

BY MR. JOHNSON.

Q.-What became of the opium?

A.-The Defendant was acquitted on the 13th September, 1878, for having tried to leave the port without a clearance. In the second case, 4th June, 1880, the junk and cargo were ordered to be forfeited, and in the third case, 16th August, 1880, the Defendant was fined 50 cents. With regard to the small rowing boat, the Magistrates ordered the boat and cargo to be forfeited under section 13, sub-section 9 of Ordinance 8 of 1879, and the decision was appealed against to the Supreme Court, and the con- viction quashed as the boat was not considered a junk or sea-going vessel.

With regard to the conveying of salt out of the Colony, the salt is brought in the first instance from the ports North of Hongkong. It is then transferred into smaller boats, and some of these are specially armed for the purpose of resisting the Customs Cruisers.

-You have been Harbour Master 22 years. As Harbour Master would you not be aware of vessels specially armed?

A. If my own Harbour Officers came across such vessels they would report to me.

Q.-Could it be possible for vessels to be fitted out without coming to your know- ledge ?

A.-I am aware of the armament of all vessels that leave the Colony.

Q.-Would specially armed vessels be reported?

A.-If seen by my subordinates they would be reported. No case has come before me that has caused my interference. Reports have been made of Piracies, which by the instructions of Sir RICHARD MACDONNELL are forwarded to the Police. Junk men at times report that they have been attacked by pirates, who on investigation turn out to be Chinese Customs Cruisers.

Q.-Have you read Mr. CREAGH's Report of the 21st June, 1877 ?

A.--I have.

Q.-Do you

believe the junks referred to in the Report were fitted out in this Colony? A.-I have no knowledge of any such vessels as those described by Mr. CREAGH as being "readily distinguished from the ordinary trader by the physical as well as the "numerical strength of the crew.'

""

Q.-What is the size of specially armed salt junks?

A.-I have seen one of 300 piculs with boarding nets, muskets, &c. These junks are not the attacking party: they fight in self defence.

TO MR. RUSSELL.

Q.-Is there a record of the armament of all junks anchoring in and clearing from the waters of the Colony?

A.-When a vessel clears she gives all particulars of her armament. Every vessel which takes out a licence gives description of her armament.

Q.-As to anchorage passes?

A. Within the waters of the Colony, all vessels get anchorage passes except those with special licences.

L

1

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-Is there a record of the armament of those with anchorage passes

A. Every Chinese vessel that gets an anchorage pass, gets a clearance, and every vessel which clears, reports her armament, except those specially licensed, and those that are specially licensed have their armament recorded, if they have any.

Q.-How long can vessels remain in the waters of the Colony without getting an anchorage pass?

A.-Except in the case of vessels having special licences, 18 hours.

-Referring to Ordinance 2 of 1868, rendered permanent by 2 of 1870, relative to the disarmament of junks, were the provisions of that Ordinance ever carried out?

A.-Never. Regulations were issued under it, which were not acted on. This Ordinance has never been repealed. We interfere with the armament of junks so far as regards stinkpots, which are not allowed to be carried.

Q.-Can you furnish a return from 1866 to 1877 similar to that already furnished

from 1877 to 1882?

page 92.

A.—I will furnish a return from 1866 to 1877 similar to that already furnished See post from 1877 to 1882.

Q.-Do all junks require to declare their cargoes?

A. Yes, (v. Ordinance 8 of 1879, section 38, sub-section 10).

Q.-Would they declare opium and salt?

A.-They do not declare the truth for fear of spies of the Customs being near at hand.

-Are clearances granted to vessels with salt on board?

A.-This is a free port. We will clear ships with anything.

-Are not all Chinese sea-going vessels armed for the purpose of protecting themselves against pirates?

A.-As a general rule all Chinese sea-going vessels are armed for the purpose of protecting themselves against pirates.

LAU MUK-SHANG, introduced by Inspector CAMERON as one of a smuggling gang is examined and states:-I am an opium dealer. I live at Shiuliki, Sheungwán. I have been in Hongkong since the 4th day of the 12th moon (12th January, 1883). I am from P'ingshán. I came to Hongkong to take opium to the mainland. I am merely a runner. I have been four or five runs. Sixty or seventy of us go in a body. I carried 5 balls of Bengal opium and two cakes of Malwa on my last trip. I left Hongkong on the 13th, after sunset, and went to Yaumáti, and thence to Ts'òp'áitsai. There were 60 or 70 of us: we got there about 11 P.M. I do not know how many officers met us. They tried to take away the opium from us, but did not succeed. had a pistol with me loaded, with five chambers. The persons with me had some muskets, others pistols. I was 3 or 4 li (one mile) within Chinese territory. We

T

7

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were not pursued into English territory. If I sell the opium I carry to T'ámshui, I get $1 a ball. It takes me three days to reach T'ámshui. The whole of our party were carrying for three shops—I brought all the opium I had back with me.

The opium was taken away by Europeans, and detained at the Station,

To MR. RYRIE,

(who thinks he recognises the man).

-Have you acted as spy for the Hoikwán?

A.—I have not acted as spy for the Hoikwán.

م الى الله

Q.-Did not the people at the Customs Station at Kaulung try to stop you?

A. Yes; but we ran so fast that they could not catch us. There were informers ahead of us, who informed the authorities. I once had a fight with the Chinese autho- rities at Liümún, Ch'akwoling. This was about 3 or 4 months ago. Some of the Chinese Officers were killed. On that occasion there were 130 or more of us.

JOHN BLACK CAMERON stationed at Yaumáti, states:-I am Police Inspector and Harbour Officer for the Kaulung District. I was at Yaumáti six years before going on leave in March 1881, when I was away till the 22nd December, 1882. I returned then and resumed duty. Last Sunday morning about 12 o'clock I received information that there were a large number of men who had arrived at two different huts in my district. One of the huts is in the village at Kunch'ung near the Naval Coal Sheds: the other is on Government ground between the two rifle ranges. I was told that they had gone there with large quantities of arms. Later on I went to the Kunch'ung hut first. I got there at 2.30 P.M. Sergeant FISHER and Chinese Sergeant 250, and a party of Police went with me. In the north-end of the hut I found 5 Chinese, who were sitting on the ground. I asked them several questions. On making search I found 10 muskets and 7 revolvers, concealed in different parts of the hut, all capped and loaded. The revolvers were American, six chambered. All were effective weapons. There was also a large quantity of bullets and several boxes of cartridges and packages of powder. The man who gave me the information is an ex-Chinese Constable. Underneath the bed was a large quantity of opium done up in packages and blue bags-4 cakes of Malwa in each packet and a broken piece. In No. 2, or other hut already referred to, found 14 men, 7 muskets, 3 revolvers and 1 horse-pistol, all loaded and capped. I found cartridges and charges for the muskets in blue bags, and also carrying poles. The total amount of opium was 353 balls or packages. I questioned the men and on enquiry found that the party had been 70 in number.

The hut at Kunch'ung has a boundary stone near it. Only one man had a revolver on his person, which was taken from him at Kunch'ung.

I have known of a great many smaller cases of persons being driven back. I remember one case of seven men coming back with 39 balls of opium.

1

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THIRD MEETING,

19th January, 1883.

Present: Sir GEORGE PHILLIPPO, Chief Justice, (Chairman).

Honourable J. RUSSELL, Colonial Treasurer.

"

""

P. RYRIE, M.L.C.

F. B. JOHNSON, M.L.C.

Mr. J. H. STEWart-Lockhart, (Secretary).

Inspector JOHN CAMERON further examined states:-Police Officers in charge of out- stations have never had their attention specially directed towards smuggling generally. Even if I knew that smuggling was going to take place I would not take steps to prevent it. I know positively that salt and opium smuggling does take place daily from Yaumáti. I can tell a salt smuggling junk from her appearance. These junks are a special class of junk, and are as a rule very fast sailing boats, of a long, narrow build, and can be pulled as fast as they can be sailed. The armament on board is a musket per man. The crews of these junks vary from six to twenty-five, and the boats from thirty piculs carrying capacity to 300. In addition to muskets they sometimes carry a couple of small guns, four to six pounders. These junks take out their usual papers in compliance with the Ordinance. In 1876 a fight took place between a number of salt junks, about seven in number, and the P'ingchauhoi, a Chinese Revenue Cruiser. The smugglers ran their junks ashore, and had a stand up fight. Four of the junks were captured. The remainder were sunk. A number of the men afterwards returned to Yaumáti, and I found them in the joss house there. Some were suffering from bullet wounds. They told me what had taken place. I asked them if they wanted to go to hospital, but they refused. I believe two of the same number were sent to hospital by Inspector. GRIMES, who was then in charge of the Water Police. This is the biggest fight I have ever known or heard of. In December 1879, a boat left Hongkong Harbour with 70 balls of opium, and on getting through the Liümún pass to Chinese waters was pursued by a Chinese Revenue Cruiser, and had to retreat to T'òkwawán in English territory. The opium was landed in a house there, and afterwards stolen by the villagers. The Government Schoolmaster (Chinese) was implicated in the matter, some of the opium being found in the School house. Four of the thieves were arrested and sentenced to six months, including the Schoolmaster, who at first absconded, but was afterwards arrested. As a rule, salt junks leave in parties of three or four, watching their opportunity for a favourable wind and dark night. They rarely go singly, and if they do, the quantity they desire to smuggle is very small. The salt junks are not specially armed: they would not be allowed to leave the harbour with more arma- ment than the Ordinance allows. I should be sure to hear of it if there were any of these junks specially armed. They are continually boarded on entering the harbour, and after they have taken their papers. In fact they are frequently boarded, there being no fixed time for doing so. I have no records or papers which would tend to throw light on smuggling, as we do not interfere with these so-called smuggling boats. On one occasion one of these salt smuggling junks collided with a fishing junk at anchor in the harbour of Yaumáti, close to the Praya, and a serious fight resulted, many being wounded. The salt junk fired several shots at the fishermen on board their own junk. salt smuggling first commenced in Yaumáti in 1876. Previous to that time there were no salt shops in Yaumáti, but in that year a large number of salt merchants started

business there.

(6)

They buy the salt from large junks that come from Shánmi P'áichau, P'inghoi, Saipò, Kamsing, Kammún. These junks average from 300 to 8 or 900 piculs. They sell the salt to the smugglers, who take it to Tungkún, &c. The merchants also buy salt from foreign vessels. The amount of smuggled salt that leaves Yaumáti is roughly speaking about 6,000 piculs a month.

As to smuggled opium, it is without exception brought over from Hongkong, where it is purchased, in sampans and small boats, and landed at different places along the shore sometimes at Kunch'ung, sometimes at Yaumáti, and sometimes at Ts'òp'áitsai. The quantity varies from ten balls, the least I have ever known, to ninety balls. This of course does not include the recent cases of 353 balls or packages. When the opium is landed, it is stored in houses or huts, until a favourable opportunity presents itself, when it is carried overland by runners, who are armed with a musket or revolver, or both. They carry the opium in cotton or mat bags, slung over their shoulders on a bamboo, or tied on to their backs. They go in parties of three or four up to ten, which is the largest party. I have frequently stopped these runners and examined their bundles, but finding them to contain opium only, I have allowed them to pass, at which they seem to be amused. They never seem alarmed at meeting any of the European or Chinese Constables. Whenever I have stopped the parties, they always produce a bill of purchase. I have frequently had these bills translated to me, and have always found them to state that the opium was bought in Hongkong, generally in Bonham Strand or Jervois Street. The opium is generally brought across at night. The smugglers keep in doors for fear of being seen by the Customs spies, a very great number of whom are always to be seen in Yaumáti. In December 1876, out of seven men, who called themselves Customs Spies, two were sentenced to six years penal servitude and to be twice publicly flogged for assaulting and robbing a man named FÁN CH'I-WONG. The sentences were subsequently remitted as the men were acting under orders. WONG- KWAI, the third prisoner, was sentenced to three years penal servitude, and the other four were discharged. As a rule these runners are employed by merchants, many of them, I believe, in Hongkong, who hire them in the hope that the opium will be carried through. They are paid so much the run, $1 a ball, sometimes $2. As a rule they succeed in carrying the opium to its destination. I have known of a great many. cases of these runners being driven back, finding that they were likely to get caught if they went on. I have known men coming back with 39 and 15 balls of opium. I have' never heard of any of the smugglers being wounded. I have never even heard of there being any fighting, with the exception of course of the last case of smuggling. I have known small boats leave Yaumáti with opium; for example, the case of the 10th September, 1880. In another case, about a month later than the above, a similar boat was being loaded with opium: the occupants were brought to the Station, and questioned as to the opium. A bill was produced, showing they had purchased the opium in Hongkong, and they said they were going to smuggle it, and I let them go. I have frequently seen small boats take opium from Yaumáti, which goes up the Canton river, where it is landed. I have never seen a large junk take opium from Yaumáti. The smugglers on board these small boats have the opium done up in a netting with a large stone to it, for the purpose of sinking it in the event of their being overhauled by the Customs, and they recover it, if thrown overboard, by dredging for it. The cattle dealers, who come with cattle to the Colony from T'ámshui and other places always take opium on their return journey, being different from opium runners in so far as the opium is their own. These cattle

I

dealers I have frequently met unarmed.

$

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What kind of junks were they that engaged with the Ping-chau-hoi?

A.-They were the largest size of salt smuggling junks.

Q.-Is not salt largely used for curing fish?

A.-Yes, a great quantity is used.

Q-Does not the Chinese Salt Gabelle exercise a jealous vigilance over junks? -

-A.-They do. I have known cases where fishing junks have been interfered with by the Chinese Customs for having salt in excess of the quantity allowed by the Chinese .`regulations.

Q.-Do you know anything of naval fights in the waters of the Colony?

years

last

A.-I know nothing of such fights. I have been in the Police Force 11 February. I have had seven or eight years experience of outstations. During that time the only cases of fights I have known are: 1st that of the P'ingchauhoi referred to above, which I only knew by hearsay; 2nd, the case at T'òkwawán, also referred to above; and 3rd, the case where the junk took refuge on Stone Cutters' Island.

WILLIAM MCCLELLAN, Inspector of Junks, states:-I have been Inspector of Junks for 14 years.

I don't suppose

there is a junk that leaves the harbour without smuggling. Smuggling is carried on in particular to Macao. The junks that carry the opium are large and small. The large ones vary from 1,800 piculs to 3,000 piculs. Their armament consists of 8 guns, 15 muskets, 10 spears, and 14 piculs of powder. The crew numbers about twenty-two men. The small junks, which carry on more smuggling than the large ones, are about 300 piculs. I have often chased them as far as the Kapshuimún to see if they had prepared opium on board. I never found any of them with prepared opium, but have always found raw opium on board. These small junks go chiefly to Tungkún. The large junks are not fitted out specially for smuggling, but the small ones are. I can tell them as soon as I see them. They are a long snake boat armed with 18 muskets, 10 spears, 15 pistols, no cannon. 10 to 18: The men are generally heavy built men. They make one run a week, and carry from 10 to 20 packages, each package containing about ten balls. As to salt smuggling, all the junks start from Yaumáti, so far as I am aware.

The crew varies from

A great quantity of muskets is shipped in junks daily for Canton, Tungkún, Whampoa, &c.

TO THE COMMISSION.

Is there a special class of junk fitted out for the purpose of smuggling?

A.-There is not a special class.

Q.-Have you ever had occasion to report the unusual armament of any junk? A.-I have never had occasion to do so.

-Have you ever heard of engagements in the waters of the Colony between junks and Revenue Cruisers?

A.-Never. I have heard of fights outside the waters.

2

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Q.-You say the small junks chiefly carry opium. How are they specially fitted?

A.-"Fitted out" is a wrong term. The words should be "chiefly employed in carrying."

Q.-Do you know that passes are granted by the Chinese Government.

A.-I was not aware of such, nor do I know if these boats have such passes or if they pay duty. In fact I cannot say whether the opium is smuggled or not.

When I used in my statement the term smuggling, I should have said that large and small snake boats carry opium from the Colony; but, whether it pays duty to the Chinese Customs, I do not know,

About 12 years ago when I was stationed at Stone Cutters' Island, I heard of fights with salt junks outside, and used to hear fighting going on outside almost every night.

Munitions of war are shipped as cargo. I do not know whom they are shipped for; whether for the Government or private individuals.

(Note. From the manner in which this witness gave his evidence, the Commission could place little reliance on it.)

FOURTH MEETING,

25th January, 1883.

Present-Honourable J. RUSSELL, Colonial Treasurer.

F. B. JOHNSON, M.L.C.

Mr. J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART, (Secretary).

Mr. J. J. COLLAÇO is examined on the following statement, made before the Secre- tary on the 23rd instant :—

I have been Inspector of Junks since the beginning of 1869. All I know of opium leaving the harbour is this, that I sometimes find opium on board junks, and if it is not in their clearance papers, I take them to the office to have it filled in. I have never seen any such thing as a fight in the harbour, nor in Hongkong waters. In fact I do not know anything about smuggling from Hongkong.

TO THE COMMISSION.

I have never seen or heard of fights within the waters of the Colony between opium junks, salt junks, and Revenue Cruisers, nor seen any without the waters of the Colony.

Mr. T. M. LEATHERBARROW is examined on the following statement, made to the Secretary on the 23rd instant :-

I am Second Boarding Officer in the Harbour Department. I was stationed at Stone Cutters' Island for a year or two. During the whole of that time I never saw' fighting between junks of any kind. I know nothing about smuggling from the Colony.

1

:

$

A

9)

To THE COMMISSION.

I have been in the Harbour Department since February 1st, 1877. I have had three years experience of out door work. I was nearly three years on Stone Cutters' Island at various times. The longest time I was there at a stretch was two years and one month, from 5th May, 1879, to 30th June, 1881. As to the reported salt smuggling junks, I have not found on them even the usual armament. I never saw anything of fights between junks and Revenue Cruisers during the whole time I was stationed at Stone Cutters' Island. I have heard and seen muskets fired off, as junks have been going through the harbour. This was done, I thought, either for the purpose of firing off charges, or as a demonstration against piratical attacks. I have never seen anything like an engagement. These sounds of firing might have been bombs, a species of Chinese firework. I have never known from my knowledge as a public officer of any fighting in, or adjacent to the waters of the Colony.

Inspector ALEXANDER MACKIE, Inspector of Police and Harbour Officer at Sháuki- wán is examined on the following statement, made to the Secretary on the 23rd instant:

post

I have been at Sháukiwán nearly a year. On the 21st September 1882, I reported a case where about 100 Chinamen were employed to carry opium from Hongkong to Sage 98. T'ámshui viâ Sháukiwán. In this case a fight took place between the smugglers, whom I knew to be such because they told me so, and the Customs authorities, on the hill above Ch'akwoling, and one man was killed named CHUNG KAM, and buried at Ch'akwoling. A few days ago, that is on the 18th instant, I met the man who was in charge of the gang on the above occasion, and he told me that they were still carrying on Opium smuggling, but they had only 70 men at present, and that the gang who were arrested by the Inspector at Yaumáti the other day contained a number of the gang, who were engaged in the affray at Ch'akwoling. On the 17th November, 1882, a small junk came into Sháukiwán harbour, which I charged for making a false return of armament, and the Captain told me he was going to use the boat for smuggling opium, sulphur, and salt. During my experience of eleven years in the Police Force, I have never seen a fight either in or out of the waters of the Colony, but I have seen junks on several occasions pursued into Hongkong waters. The Revenue Cruisers do not as a rule come into Hongkong waters, though I did on one occasion report a Cruiser having come into Hongkong waters in pursuit of a junk, and was told through a minute by these post Colonial Secretary that, as no complaint reached me, I should not have taken any notice of the matter, (C.S.O. 2976 of 1879). Since then unless complaints have been made to me, I. have never interfered in these cases. On the 11th December last year, I reported a case of a junk which complained of having had opium stolen from on board her by a supposed Revenue Cruiser. The junk was finally charged for leaving the harbour without a clearance pass, but the case was finally dismissed. I remember when in charge at Stanley, a junk coming into Táit'ám Bay, where she took her papers, and then sent to Hongkong for a launch to tow her into Hongkong harbour, for fear she might be seized by Revenue Cruisers. I have known boats with cargoes of saltpetre cleared at Stanley.

TO THE COMMISSION.

With reference to the case of the 21st September, when the men came back from Ch'akwoling, I saw about 12 muskets in the 3 boats and several men with revolvers.

pages 93-95.

!

(-10)

The opium was in the three boats. In the first lot that came across there were 40 men, and afterwards 59. The second lot came a few minutes afterwards. After search, I should say there were a number of muskets and about ten revolvers. These three boats were not sea-going vessels. I saw nothing of the fight. All I learned was from enquiries made by my coxswain on the Chinese mainland. I did not hear any firing. Ch'akwoling is distant about a mile from the Station. I heard no firing, nor of anything** to attract attention, till the men were within the Colony. As to the system to which I refer in my report, I got the information from my coxswain, who says he got the infor- mation from the head of the gang. I got my information from the coxswain in the course of general conversation. Inspector CRADOCK investigated the case with me. The boats were not seen the night before, and they were not boarded. They were not numbered and did not belong to the Colony. I have never seen a case of this kind before, or heard of such a case during my experience in the Police Force, extending over 11 years. I did not learn from the smugglers about any fight. The man in charge of the Customs Shed at Malautung told me about the man who was killed. The fight, I was informed, took place on Chinese territory, 400 or 500 yards from the shore.

FIFTH MEETING,

2nd February, 1883.

Present:-Sir GEORGE PHILLIPPO, Chief Justice, (Chairman).

Honourable J. RUSSELL, Colonial Treasurer.

""

F. B. JOHNSON, M.L.C.

Mr. J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART, (Secretary).

The examination of Inspector MACKIE is continued:-

With regard to the Minute by the Governor on C.S.O. 2976 of 1879, where a junk was captured and taken out of British waters: "Let the Captain Superintendent inform 'Inspector MACKIE that he must be more careful in future. He ought to have stated "in the first instance what he seems to have admitted when questioned by the Acting "Harbour Master, that no complaint whatever reached him on the subject.".

:

I took it as a censure when it was communicated to me, and in consequence I would not again report a similar case, although I thought the junk was captured within our

waters.

On the 31st August of last year, I reported the boarding of a junk in British waters in Ch'áiwán by 5 or 6 men belonging to a launch from the Fatt'auchau Customs Station.

J. P. SWANSTON, Inspector of Police and Harbour Officer at Stanley states:- I have been in the Police Force for eleven years, six years out of which I have been ✓ at out-stations-Aberdeen, Sháukiwán, and Stanley. When at Sháukiwán, I have boarded small boats near the Liümún Pass, either in Akungngám Bay or Sháukiwán harbour, and have found opium and saltpetre on board them, and they themselves have told me that they were going to smuggle. The most I have known these small boats to carry is 200 balls, but on an average they only carry two to three balls. The crew ranges

3

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from three to six and the armament consists of a musket for each man. The boats are from 25 to 60 piculs. In 1877 or 1878 I boarded a large junk, about 6,000 piculs, and found a chest of Benares on board her, which the Captain told me he was not going to pay any duty on to the Chinese Customs. I charged him for furnishing untrue particulars, and he was discharged by the Marine Magistrate, as Ordinance 8 of 1866 was held not to apply to his case. I should say that this smuggling in small boats is carried on every night, at any rate every dark night. The shops in Sháukiwán with whom the people from the Customs Station at Fatt'auchau deal, have given information as to smuggling, but I never knew of any result arising from the information. I have never seen engagements between smugglers and Revenue Cruisers, and if such do occur, they must be infrequent, or otherwise I should have heard of them. These small boats keep near the shore; and generally have a large junk waiting for them either in Chinese or British waters, according to the tides. These big junks clear from Hongkong, and are passed by the Chinese Customs, and then wait in the dark for the small boat, which delivers whatever goods are being smuggled. Saltpetre is smuggled in a more daring manner than opium. They try to pass it under the name of white sugar.

The boats it is smuggled in vary from 100 to 500 piculs. The crew varies from 7 to 20; the armament is generally a musket for each man. I have known these junks to be provided with fighting nets, and shields, and the crew severally well supplied with powder, shot, and caps, in bags containing 14 or 15 rounds. I have only known of two such cases. One of these boats was punished for leaving the harbour during prohibited hours, and the junk and cargo were forfeited; the other was fined $50 for furnishing untrue particulars of the cargo. This was on the 5th December, 1882.

In 1882 I boarded a junk at Stanley and found 100 piculs of saltpetre, 27 muskets over the allowance, 94 bayonets, and 3,000 percussion caps. These were hidden in various parts of the junk. The Captain and crew were charged, and the Captain was fined $50. I have never seen any naval fights in British waters, but have often heard of fights taking place in Chinese waters. I have known boats come both to Sháukiwán and Stanley with cargoes of salt from Chinese territory, which is sold to the outlying villages in this Colony. I have never known of any fights between salt junks. In the month of November of last year it was reported to me that a large quantity of opium had been carried by 21 coolies with two baskets each from Victoria to Táit‘ámtuk, but was finally taken back again to Hongkong, as the smugglers were watched.

The above statement taken by the Secretary is read over to Inspector SWANSTON, and declared to be correct.

TO THE COMMISSION.

See post

With reference to the case of the 200 balls it was an attempt to swindle the owner, and it was he who said it was going to be smuggled. I made a report on smuggling pages 97-98. to the Captain Superintendent of Police in 1881.

The accompanying statement, taken by the Secretary, is read over to Acting Inspector STAUNTON before the Commission and declared by him to be correct.

WM. STAUNTON, Acting Inspector at Aberdeen, states:—I have been in the Police Force for almost ten years, and have had a year and half's experience at Harbour Sta- tions. The smuggling of opium from Aberdeen is very small, and it is almost impos- sible to learn when smuggling does go on, as it is carried on so quietly. The junks

( 12 )

that take the opium are not fitted up for smuggling purposes. As to salt, the smug- gling junks come to Aberdeen, cleared from Yaumáti and Victoria, during the S.W. monsoon, and go through the Aberdeen pass, and pass to the South of the Lamma Island and West of Lant'au, thus avoiding the Kapshuimún Station. These junks are generally more heavily armed than the ordinary trading junks. I have never seen any fights in British waters. In June of last year the Master of a junk reported to me a fight that had occurred between his junk and a Chinese Cruiser, in which two of his men were killed, and the others swam ashore to the Lamma Island. British waters, between Aplichau and the Lamma Island. saltpetre and sulphur. This is the only fight that has been reported to me.

He said this occurred in The junk was laden with

SIXTH MEETING,

13th April, 1883.

Present: Sir GEORGE PHILLIPPO, Chief Justice, (Chairman).

---

His Honour Mr. Justice RUSSELL, Puisne Judge.

Honourable F. B. JOHNSON, M.L.C.

Mr. J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART, (Secretary).

The accompanying statement, made to the Secretary, was read over to Inspector RIVERS and declared by him to be correct.

WILLIAM RIVERS, Inspector, states:-I have been in the Police force almost 13 years. I was in Aberdeen as Inspector and Harbour Officer from May, 1874, to January, 1876, and in Stanley from August, 1877, to February, 1879. During that time I had never occasion to report anything in connection with smuggling. The recent saltpetre case is the only one of smuggling I have ever had anything to do with. I see post have never seen any fights in Chinese waters, nor seizures by Chinese Revenue Cruisers ✓ in Hongkong waters. I have seen such Cruisers towing junks out at sea past Stanley

Bay, but out of Hongkong waters.

When asked by the Commission if he had any further remarks to offer, he replied ✓ that he had nothing except that during the 16 months he was stationed at Stanley he saw what he suspected, but not proved to be salt smuggling junks towed by Revenue Cruisers.

pages 76-82.

2

The accompanying statement is read over to Inspector CRADOCK and declared by him to be correct. In addition to what he has already stated, he refers to the Police See post report of the 24th January, 1883, and of the 28th March, 1883.

pages

99 & 101.

See post

JAMES CRADOCK, Inspector in charge of the Water Police, states :--I have been in the Police force almost 16 years. I have been in charge of out-stations for 12 or more years. When Acting Chief Inspector I made a report about the 21st September, pages 6-7. 1882, in a case that occurred at Sháukiwán. There were a number of prisoners detained at that Station, who had taken refuge there from what I was informed were Chinese Revenue Cruisers. They were discharged.

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2

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1

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}

See post

On the 24th January, 1883, a boat was found in the harbour off Tsimshatsui point, Sag 9st. containing 27 men. They told me that 25 of them were smugglers and two, boatmen, the owners of the boat. It was an open Hunghòm passage boat, between 40 and 50 piculs capacity. The smugglers were the same as those arrested some time ago by Mr. CAMERON at Yaumáti. They were all armed; there were 17 rifles, 13 revolvers, all loaded. They had opium, roughly speaking, to the value of about $3,000. I wrote a report of this arrest to the Captain Superintendent of Police, asking for instructions how I should act, hearing that the Commission was sitting. I received instructions to charge them with being armed with deadly weapons, not being the holder of night passes under the Pass Ordinance 14 of 1870, as a test case. The prisoners were discharged.

#

TO THE COMMISSION.

I have been in charge of the Water Police for 5 years or more at different times; during that time no case of a junk being over-armed has come under my notice. I have never seen any fights in the waters of the Colony. I have seen salt leave the harbour frequently as cargo, but I cannot say whether it was smuggled or not.

JOHN FLEMING Sergeant, states:-I have been in the Police Force 11 years. I was. at Yaumáti for 2 years from November 1877, till December 1879, as Sergeant. When there, I have often seen salt smuggled. I knew it was going to be smuggled, because the people themselves told me so. I have seen junks starting in bodies of six or seven, armed about 3 times as heavily as the ordinary junk. There are about 20 or 30 of a crew, each armed with ammunition and muskets, and sometimes rifles. As a rule they have small cannon, one, two, or three. They generally start in bodies of six or seven, about dusk. I have met crews coming back by the mainland, and on asking them, they have told me through the Chinese lòkang that they had been attacked by Chinese Revenue Cruisers, had run their junk ashore, and made their escape back again. They used to say that as they did not resist, but simply left the junk to be taken by the Revenue Cruiser, the Cruiser did not care about arresting the men, but only the junk. A salt shopkeeper in Yaumáti told me that he has even bought back a junk that had been captured. I have never seen any of these salt smugglers wounded. I have heard firing in the neighbourhood of the Kapshuimún and Shamshuipò, and it was always put down to cruisers and smugglers. There is generally a launch belonging to the Chinese Customs in the neighbourhood of Shamshuipò; at any rate there used to be one there in 1879, when I was at Yaumáti. When I was at Yaumáti reports were made on several occasions to the Police of highway robberies on the Kaulung road near Kaulung City, which on investigation turned out to be seizure of opium by the Chinese authorities where the men, who complained of being robbed on the high road, entered Chinese territory. I remember a small junk being sent to Yaumáti by the Hongkong Govern- ment, and there sold. The junk was laden with saltpetre, and was confiscated on account of leaving the harbour at night without a clearance. The junks that smuggle salt are generally from 150 to 200 piculs. There are a few as small as 40 or 50 piculs. When acting as Inspector in charge at Sháukiwán last year, in the months of June and July, I charged 4 men, belonging to the Chinese Customs Station at Fatt'auchau, for unlawful possession of a Hongkong junk in British waters, &c.

The above statement made to the Secretary is read over to Sergeant FLEMING and declared by him to be corrcet.

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To THE COMMISSION.

Yaumáti is a salt depôt. The salt may pay duty before coming into the waters of the Colony.

I

JOHN BUTLIN, Sergeant, states:-I have been in the Police Force over 7

years. have had over 5 years' experience of out-stations-Yaumáti, Hunghòm and Whitfeild. I have often boarded boats in the harbour, either because there appeared to be something suspicious about them, or because I had been informed that there was stolen property on board, or pirates. I have on several occasions found saltpetre, opium, salt, and once or twice Annamese Cash on board. I have also found opium on board sampans at night, and they have told me that they were going to smuggle the opium and were doing so by night, as they were afraid to do so during the day time as they would be watched. I saw one of these sampans deliver the opium on board a large junk lying, off Whitfeild Station. These sampans have always shown a bill of purchase when accused of stealing the opium. Annamese Cash used to be smuggled in stone boats from Sinshán behind T'òkwawán, where the cash were manufactured in great quantities. Opium smuggling is chiefly carried on by salt junks, some of which are very heavily armed. I have seen 36 or 37 of a crew with 20 or 30 rifles, spears, shields, revolvers, ammunition and 2 cannons. This is the largest I have seen. I do not think these junks are specially equipped for smuggling. These salt junks are built for fast sailing, but the stone boats, in which opium is also smuggled, are not so.

I think as a rule the crews are not specially chosen. They may be in some cases. You could not distinguish the crews of the junks that smuggle from the crew of any ordinary junk by physique, though they are generally more numerous in the salt junks, but not in other boats that smuggle opium. I have never seen fights or firing between junks and Revenue Cruisers in British waters. On one occasion a man came to Yaumáti wounded, and he told me that he had been wounded by some men on board a Revenue Cruiser, who had attacked the junk on board which he was, somewhere in Chinese territory.

The above statement made to the Secretary is read over to Sergeant BUTLIN and declared by him to be correct.

JAMES CLERIHEW, Inspector of Nuisances, states:-I was in the employ of the salt Commissioner as Quarter-master in charge of one of the Revenue Cruisers for two years and nine months, from 1878 to 1880. During that time I made many seizures of opium, salt, saltpetre, arms, ammunition, from on board Hongkong junks of all sizes, and rice coming to the Colony. I have often had fights with these junks, and several times people have been killed on both sides. I never made a capture in Hongkong waters, nor had any collision with junks in those waters. I have never known of Hongkong junks specially armed for the purposes of smuggling, but some of the junks with which I fought, were heavily armed with rifles, cannon, and fighting nets. The crews varied from 15 to 20. Our instructions were most strict about keeping away from the British boundary. We used to consider it a bad month unless we made 30 or 40 seizures. My pay was $50 at first and afterwards $60 per month, and I was allowed a share of the seizures, generally a third. I was allowed to seize any smuggled goods, and got a · share of the seizure in every case. In the case of salt, the launch got a half share. I have made as much as $240 a month, including salary, but as a rule did not make more than $30 a month, outside my salary. I have been offered bribes by junks to let rice

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pass into Hongkong. The largest amount of opium I ever seized was 450 balls on board a passage boat in the Kapshuimún. No resistance was offered. The pas- sengers were landed at the Kapshuimún Station, the junk and cargo sent to Canton and there confiscated. Besides opium, there were arms and ammunition on board her, hidden under a cargo of Chefoo beans. I generally knew that junks were going to smuggle from information given to me by paid informers, who got a share of the seizure. These informers are ordinary workmen, and it was mostly through them that we obtained our information about intended smuggling from the Colony. If a junk had over 40 balls of opium on board, she was confiscated: if she had under 40 balls, the opium was seized and the junk fined. If a junk smuggled goods other than opium she was very seldom confiscated.

The above statement made to the Secretary is read over to Mr. CLERIHEW and declared by him to be correct.

WONG LU-P'ÁNG, states :-I have been Sergeant Interpreter for 8

states:-I

years. I have had about 4 years' experience of the Water Police. I was formerly in the employ of the Chinese Customs as Interpreter on board the Pingchauhoi. I acted as such for about 3 years (1872-1875). During these 3 years several captures of Hongkong junks were made by the Pingchauhoi. They were in all cases large trading junks of about 4,000 or 5,000 piculs. They had sometimes opium, sometimes arms, and sometimes piece-goods on board. When a junk was captured it was taken to Canton, and generally confiscated. I believe it was a rule that if a junk had more than 40 balls of opium on board, it was confiscated. During the 3 years I was on board, about 10 seizures were made. The Pingchauhoi sometimes fired on junks with blank cartridges, but I never saw the fire returned. I never saw any fights. We never made any captures in Hongkong waters. Stricts instructions were issued as to the boundary line between Chinese and British waters. There was no particular class of junk that we knew to be smugglers.

The above statement made to the Secretary is read over to Mr. WONG LÜ-P'ÁNG and declared by him to be correct.

TO THE COMMISSION.

I have seen a great many junks go round Hongkong without touching at the Colony.

SEVENTH MEETING,

14th April, 1883.

Present:-Sir GEORGE PHILLIPPO, Chief Justice, (Chairman).

His Honour Mr. Justice RUSSELL, Puisne Judge.

Honourable F. B. JOHNSON, M.L.C.

Mr. J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART, (Secretary).

W. M. DEANE, Captain Superintendent of Police, in reply to the Members of the Commission states:-I have no information to give on smuggling other than that which I have given officially in the shape of Reports, &c. I would refer the Commission to one of these reports, as being the most recent one, forwarded on the 11th April. See post With reference to Mr. CREAGH's letter of the 21st June, 1877, I think it appears to

page 101.

}

5

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apply to an old state of affairs. Now that the blockade is so stringent and piracy has to a great extent died out, vessels are not so heavily armed as formerly. I am not aware of any peculiarity in the build or armament of vessels engaged in smuggling. I have seen the firing of large guns from the Peak, which firing was evidently being carried on between smugglers and Revenue Cruisers. As a recent instance of alleged seizure of a Chinese junk by a Revenue Cruiser, I would refer to a report by the Inspector at Stanley. I would like to call the attention of the Commission to section 18 of See post Ordinance 14 of 1870, as a doubt has existed in the minds of Magistrates as to whether it is applicable to Victoria or the whole of the Colony. I consider that it would be well to have that point made clear.

C. V. CREAGH, Deputy Superintendent of Police in reply to the Commission states:-I made my report in 1877 from information I derived from Police and Custom House Officers. The boats referred to in 1877 were specially constructed. They had. large crews and were much stronger than the ordinary run of boat. My information was derived from Custom House Officers and did not come under my notice officially. My report was only intended for persons knowing the circumstances of this place.

pages

99-100.

pages

100-101.

After making the above statement Mr. CREAGH is told by the Chairman of the See post Commission that if he should desire to express anything in writing to the Secretary of the Commission, the Members of the Commission would be glad to receive it.

EIGHTH MEETING,

*

16th June, 1883.

Present:-Sir GEORGE PHILLIPPO, Chief Justice, (Chairman).

His Honour Mr. Justice RUSSELL, Puisne Judge.

Honourable P. RYRIE, M.L.C.

Mr. J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART, (Secretary).

The following Witnesses were re-called. See Report page vii, par. 2.

HENRY GEORGE THOMSETT, R.N., is examined by the Commission.

1.—You are Harbour Master and Marine Magistrate of Hongkong?

A.-Yes.

2.-How long have you been so?

A.-22 years.

3.-Have you any means of knowing whether opium is smuggled from Hongkong into the mainland of China? If so, what means?

A.-My only means of knowing are by vessels being taken in the act of conveying

opium and brought before me for breach of any of the local laws.

4.-During the time you have been Harbour Master has it come within your knowledge that any junks have been especially built or equipped as to armament for the purpose of smuggling opium?

A.-No.

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5.-In case of vessels having opium on board, has it come before you how these vessels have been armed?

A.-All vessels whether conveying opium or anything else are armed in this place. 6.—Is there any difference between the armament of these opium vessels and that of others?

A.-I do not know of any.

See post

page 89.

7-You sent in a return on the 13th November, 1882, in which you reported on t the vessels that had been found with opium on board from 1877 to November, 1882. Do you remember that?

A-I recollect sending in such a report.

8.---Can you state what was the usual size of these vessels?

The next case was

A.-One vessel was of 4,000 piculs capacity, or 236 tons. That was in November, 1877. She had opium on board. The charge brought against the Master was that of furnishing untrue particulars at the Harbour Office. She had a crew of twenty, which was rather a small number for the size of the vessel. in September, 1878, a fishing junk of 7 tons, with a crew of six men; the charge was leaving the harbour without a clearance; there was opium on board. On the 4th June, 1880, the case was one of a trading junk of 59 tons; there was opium on board, but the quantity is not given. The Minutes of the case were sent to the Colonial Secretary, and were not returned to the Harbour Office. There is nothing special about either of these vessels with regard to armament. In the next case I was unable to say whether the vessel had opium on board, because the Minutes went to the Colonial Secretary; it was a fishing junk of three and a half tons; there was no armament whatever; neglect to report arrival was the charge. The next case was a small rowing boat; it had an armament of two loaded revolvers; the charge, was leaving the waters of the Colony without a clearance; she had 90 balls of opium on board. The Magistrates ordered the boat and cargo to be confiscated, but the conviction was reversed on appeal to the Supreme Court.

9.- What became of the opium?

A.-I do not know.

10.—Then as I understand your evidence, these vessels vary in size from 4,000 piculs to small rowing boats?

A.-The cases that have come before me during these years vary from 236 tons to. a small rowing boat.

So,

11.--Have any cases come before you since that report?

A.-I do not think so.

12. You made a subsequent report I think.

A.—I do not remember any cases coming before me since. They may have done but I do not recollect it-certainly not for some time.

- 13.-Then there was a question with regard to the conveying of salt out of the

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Colony. Where is the salt that comes to Hongkong brought from in the first instance?

A. From ports North of Hongkong.

14.-Chinese salt?

A. Yes.

>

15.-How is it then disposed of?

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A.—It is sold here or stored. The Inspector in charge at Yaumáti can tell you. more about the salt trade than I can,

16.-Can you say anything as to the armament of these salt junks that are supposed to be smugglers?

A.-The vessels that bring salt to Hongkong are armed the same as other vessels. Some vessels take salt from here with no intention of defrauding the Chinese Revenue; others, well armed small boats, leave the Port with the intention of smuggling the salt into China.

17.-From your experience of 22 years, and the means of information you have as Harbour Master, would it be possible for vessels to be specially armed or fitted out in this Colony without your knowledge?

A.-I think not. Such a matter is more one for the Water Police.

18. You are aware of the armament of all vessels that leave the Colony?

A. All vessels that take clearances at my office give a description of their armament.

19.-Would specially armed vessels be reported to you by your officers?

A.-If there was any suspicion attaching to them, yes.

20.-Small boats do not clear at your office, do they?

A. They all have to clear.

21.-But I suppose they could get out without?

A.-Yes; there is no one to see them going out at night, and no doubt a good many of them do get out, but they are not supposed to leave the harbour after a certain hour at night.

22.-You have had reports made to you of attacks by Pirates, when they have turned out to have been made by Customs Cruisers?

A.-Under instructions from the Government, I send all such reports to the Police Department, who institute the necessary enquiries.

23.-Have you read Mr. CREAGH's report of the 21st June, 1877?

A. Yes.

24.-Do you believe the vessels referred to in the report were fitted out in this Colony?

A.-No. I do not believe any vessels are fitted out here specially for smuggling, except the small boats referred to as salt smugglers. I have no knowledge of any such vessels as those described by Mr. CREAGH as being "readily distinguished from the "ordinary trader by the physical as well as the numerical strength of the crew."

25.---What is the size of specially armed salt junks?

I do not

I cannot say

A.-One I have seen of 300 piculs, with boarding nets, muskets, &c. think these boats are the attacking party; they fight in self-defence. they are not the attacking party. The salt is brought into the Colony by vessels that are not specially armed, and a good deal of it is taken away by vessels in the same condition.

See post

page 91.

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Mr. P. RYRIE-A good deal of it comes in in large cargoes from Saigon. There' are godowns filled with it.

26.-Your previous answer then refers to suspected smugglers?

A. Yes.

27.-Is there a record of the armament of all junks anchoring in and clearing from the waters of the Colony?

A. Yes, supposing they all report themselves at the office.

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28.---When a vessel clears, she gives all particulars of her armament; she is required to do so by law?

A. Yes: under Ordinance 8 of 1879, they give particulars of their cargo and

armament.

29.-As to anchorage passes?

A.-Within the waters of the Colony all vessels get anchorage passes, except those with special licences.

30.-Is there a record of the armament of those with anchorage passes?

A.-Every Chinese vessel that gets an anchorage pass gets a clearance, and every vessel which clears reports her armament, except those specially licensed, and those that are specially licensed have their armament recorded, if they have any.

31-What is the limit of time that vessels can be in the waters of the Colony with- out getting an anchorage pass, according to law?

A.-Eighteen hours, except in the case of vessels having a special licence.

32.-Referring to Ordinances 2 of 1868, perpetuated by 2 of 1870, relative to the disarmament of junks, have the provisions of that Ordinance been carried out?

A.-Never. Regulations were issued under it, which were not acted upon. This Ordinance has never been repealed. We interfere with the armament of junks as regards stink-pots, which are not allowed to be carried.

33. Can you give a return from 1866 to 1877 similar to that you have already furnished from 1877 to 1882 ?

A.-I can, and have done so.

34.-Do all junks require to declare their cargoes?

A. Yes. In Ordinance 8 of 1879, section 38, sub-section 16, they also declare on arrival.

35.-Would they declare opium and salt?

A. They are supposed to do so. As a rule I think they do not declare such articles, as they are afraid there are people hanging about the office ready to convey information to the Customs people.

36.—Are clearances granted to vessels with salt on board?

A. Yes; this is a free port; we will clear ships with any kind of cargo. As a general rule all Chinese sea-going vessels are armed for the purpose of protecting themselves against pirates.

See post

page 92.

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37.-You are aware that the Hoppo has a number of Cruisers which anchor in the men-of-war anchorage?

A. Yes.

38.-On an average what number of these Cruisers are in the harbour?

A.—I have never made it my business to find out their number. I have seen as many as a dozen, and there are always two or three. I do not know particularly who they belong to; they all fly the Chinese Imperial flag.

39.-You know also there are some of the Viceroy's for lekin?

A.-The Viceroy's vessels are regular gun-boats. The Hoppo's vessels are steam- launches.

40.-Do they make any report to you on arrival?

A-No; we treat them as men-of-war.

41.-Do they all anchor in the men-of-war anchorage?

The

A. Yes, under special instructions from Sir RICHARD MACDONNELL. vessels used to anchor amongst the junks; Sir RICHARD MACDONNELL thought there was suspicion attaching to it, and he said that as they belonged to the Chinese Govern- ment, they had better anchor in the men-of-war ground.

42.-Do you know they belong to the Chinese Government?

A. They fly the Imperial flag. I do not know to whom they belong.

43.-Are you aware of a Station in the Praya West, No. 117, called the Yanwot'ong, which issues licences for salt?

A.-No.

44.-Do you know of a couple of Cruisers they keep for going after the fishermen here and at Sháukiwán to see they have proper licences?

A.-No.

45.-Are you aware that there is a tax paid by every fishing junk leaving the harbour and fishing outside which salts fish on the open sea and returns to Hongkong .with them?

A.-I do not know it as a fact. I have heard it said that such is the case.

46. Have you seen the Registrar General's letters of the 26th April, 1883, and 9th May, 1883, concerning a petition from certain fishermen belonging to Sháukiwán in this Colony, referring to the seizure of a quantity of fish by two sailing Cruisers belonging to the Yanwot'ong already mentioned? (shown letters).

A.-I have not seen these letters before.

47.-Are you aware of any sailing Cruisers flying the Chinese flag?

A.—I

A. I have seen Hákka boats flying that flag; they are generally engaged in carrying provisions to Ch'éungchau and the other station at Kapshuimún.

48.-Do you know whether any of these steam-launches are owned by private individuals and commissioned by the Chinese authorities?

A.-I do not know.

C

See post pages 69-73.

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49.-Are you aware of anything else in connection with this inquiry you think it is important we should know?

A.-No. I think I have given all the information I am possessed of. There is no doubt these vessels outside the harbour blockade this place, and I am satisfied in my own mind they capture vessels in our waters, but I do not know that we have ever proved a case against them, because it is a case of one man's story against another's.

50.—What is the penalty for leaving without a clearance?

A.-Confiscation of boat and cargo.

51.-Is the quantity of opium reported to you by junks reliable?

A.-I think it very

unreliable.

52.-It would be of no use for statistical purposes then?

A.-Not the least. The reports are not to be relied on. I could not give an ap- proximate estimate from their reports of the quantity of opium shipped from the Colony in native craft.

JOHN BLACK CAMERON is examined, and states :-I am a Police Inspector and Harbour Officer for the Kaulung District.

53.-How long have you been at Yaumáti?

A.-I went there in 1876, and remained there until March, 1881; was absent from March, 1881, until the 22nd December of the same year, and resumed duty on my return to the Colony.

54. You made a report of an occurrence on the 14th January, with reference to a smuggling party that had been taking shelter in two huts within your districts?

2

A.-Yes.

55.-Will you state what was the nature of that occurrence?

A. On the morning of the 8th January last, about twelve o'clock, I received information that there were a large number of men who had arrived at two different huts in my district. One of the huts is in the village at Kunch'ung, near the Navál Coal sheds; the other is on Government ground between the two rifle ranges. I was told they had gone there with large quantities of arms. I went to the Kunch'ung hut first. I got there at 2.30 P.M.; Sergeant FISHER and Chinese Sergeant 250, and a party of Police went with me. In the north end of the hut I found five Chinese, who were sitting on the ground. I asked them several questions. On making search I found 10 muskets and 7 revolvers concealed in different parts of the hut, all capped and loaded. The revolvers were American, six chambered. All were effective weapons. There was also a large quantity of bullets and several boxes of cartridges and packages of powder. The man who gave me the information is an ex-Chinese Constable. Underneath the bed was a large quantity of opium done up in packages and blue bags, 4 cakes of Malwa in each packet and a broken piece. In No. 2, or other hut already referred to, I found 14 men, 7 muskets, 3 revolvers, and 1 horse-pistol, all loaded and capped. I found cartridges and charges for the muskets in blue bags, and also carrying poles. The total amount of opium was 353 balls or packages. I questioned the men and on inquiry found the party had been 70 in number. The hut at Kunch'ung has a boundary stone near it. Only one man had a revolver on his person, which was taken from him at Kunch'ung.

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56.-Have you as a Police Officer ever had your attention specially directed towards smuggling from Hongkong into China?

A.-No.

57.-Have you any knowledge that salt or opium is smuggled from Yaumáti?

A.-Yes; they are.

58.--Can you

A. I can.

tell a so-called smuggling junk from her appearance?

59.-Will you describe what you call a smuggling junk?

A.—A salt smuggling junk is a boat of from 300 to 500 piculs capacity, sharp built, and a very fast sailer. They have always about a double crew on board. Each man is supplied with a musket, sometimes snider rifles-sometimes breach-loaders, and sometimes muzzle-loaders,—and sometimes a portion of both. Most of them carry a small gun, from two to six pounders, sometimes eight pounders. They are as a rule covered over all round from the gunwale and round the bow with netting, which is put there to prevent bullets from the Revenue Cruisers piercing their boats;-they say this netting will keep back bullets.

60.-Do these junks take out the usual papers in compliance with the Ordinance?

A. They do, regularly. We have never any trouble in that respect.

61.-I believe you know something about a fight which took place between a number of salt junks, and the Chinese Revenue Cruiser Pingchauhoi, in 1876?

A. Yes.

62.-What do you recollect about it?

A.-I cannot fix the date; but it was either in 1876 or 1877, I came across a number of men in the Joss House at Yaumáti. They were brought to the Station, and on being questioned they said they belonged to a number of salt junks which had left Hongkong with salt, and that they had been overtaken by the P'ingchauhoi off Ch'éungchau. They had a fight with them and ran their junks ashore. They placed their guns on a' shore battery, but their junks were ultimately seized and taken to Canton. Two of them had been sunk. A number of these men were suffering from wounds-some bullet wounds-and two of the same lot were sent to the Civil Hospital by the Inspector of the Water Police.

}

63.--Do you know where this fight took place?

A.---Ch'éungchau was the name of the place they gave.

64.-That is, how far out?

A.-About 7 miles from here.

65.-Have you ever known or heard of any other fight of this description ?

A.-No; I have not.

66.-Will you state what is the manner in which these Salt junks leave the Colony? What is their manner of operation?

A.-As a rule, salt junks leave in parties of three or four, watching their oppor- tunity for a favourable wind and dark night. They rarely go singly, and if they do the quantity they desire to smuggle is very small. The salt junks are not specially

A

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armed; they would not be allowed to leave the Harbour with more armament than the Ordinance allows. I should be sure to hear of it if there were any of these junks specially armed. They are continually boarded on entering the harbour, and after they have taken their papers. In fact they are frequently boarded, there being no fixed time for doing so. I have no records or papers which would tend to throw light on smuggling, as we do not interfere with these so-called smuggling boats.

On one occasion one

of these salt smuggling junks collided with a fishing boat at anchor in the harbour of Yaumáti, and a serious fight resulted, many being wounded. The salt junk fired several shots at the fishermen on board their own junk.

67.--Will you state when, as far as you know, this salt smuggliug first commenced from Yaumáti?

A. The first I knew of it was in 1876, and I believe it did not exist before that time. In that year a large number of salt merchants started business in Yaumáti. They buy the salt from large junks that come from Shánmi, P'áichau, P'inghoi, Saipò, Kamsing, Kammún. These junks average from 300 to 800 or 900 piculs. They sell the salt to the smugglers, who take it to Tungkún, &c. The merchants also buy salt from foreign vessels. The amount of smuggled salt that leaves Yaumáti is roughly speaking about 6,000 piculs monthly.

68.-What kind of junks were they that engaged with the P'ingchauhoi?

A.-I did not see the junks. I only had the statement given by the men.

69.-Is not the salt taken from Yaumáti and Kaulung largely used for curing the fish caught at sea?

A.-Considerable quantities are used for that purpose, but not nearly the whole quantity taken from Yaumáti.

70.--Does not the Commissioner of the Salt Gabelle exercise a zealous vigilance over

junks?

A. He does. I have known cases where fishing junks have been interfered with by the Chinese Customs for having salt in excess of the quantity allowed by the Chinese regulations.

71.-Do you recollect the Registrar General some time ago asking you to make inquiries with reference to a depôt called the Yanwot'ong, 167, Praya West?

A.-I do.

pages 72-73.

72.-In consequence of his instructions you procured a certain junk licence, which see post you handed over to him?

A. Yes.

junks that

73.-That licence gave the privilege of carrying a certain quantity of salt to fishing

go to sea, to salt their fish, and come back to Hongkong again?

A.-Yes.

74.-Was that licence obtained for a Hongkong licensed fishing junk?

A. It was.

75.-Registered in Hongkong and anchoring in Hongkong-in fact a Hongkong

junk?

A. Yes.

( 24 )

76.-How much did you pay for it?

A.-$5.08.

77.-Did

you see the man get it? you instructed some one to go for it-a man called CHEUNG SHEK.

I

A. He went for it, and my Chinese detective Sergeant saw him go and get it. gave the detective the money to go and get the ticket, and he did so and handed the ticket to me, and I handed it to the Registrar General.

78.-Can you tell the Commission anything about the opium smuggling boats? A.--I have known several cases of opium smuggling during my time at Kaulung.

79.-Do you remember a case occurring in December, 1879?

A. Yes. A boat had left Hongkong harbour with 70 balls of opium, and on getting through the Liümún Pass to Chinese waters was pursued by a Chinese Revenue Cruiser, and had to retreat to T'òkwawán in English territory. The opium was landed in a house there and afterwards stolen by the villagers. The Government Schoolmaster (Chinese) was implicated in the matter, some of the opium being found in the School-house. Four of the thieves were arrested and sentenced to six months, in- cluding the Schoolmaster, who at first absconded, but was afterwards arrested.

80.-As to the smuggled opium that goes from Yaumáti, can you state where it comes from, and how it is brought to Yaumáti, and how it is taken away?

/

A.---For all the opium that I have dropped across in the possession of smugglers they have had their papers, showing they had purchased it from Chinese hongs in Bonham

Strand and Jervois Street.

81. How is it brought over?

A. It is brought over from Hongkong to Kaulung in sampans and small boats.

82.-Do you know a place called Ts'òp'áitsai?

A. That is one of their favourite places of landing.

1

'

1

83. That is in your

district?

A.-It is in my district.

84.-In what quantities is it brought over from Hongkong?

A. The largest quantity I have ever known was 500 balls in three boats. This was on the 17th May. This was Patna opium, and it was landed in Kunch'ung Bay, close to the Naval Coal Sheds. Another case was on the 11th April-300 balls. There were 70 men with that quantity.

85.-Can you name any other instances of large quantities?

A.-There was another case of 353 balls or packages on the 11th January.

86. Have you ever known of such large quantities before, or anything approximating to them?

A.-There was one case in which the police seized a boat off Yaumáti with 90 balls. The case was tried before the Harbour Master. That was in 1879.

87.---What became of the opium?

A. The opium was afterwards handed back to the man.

;

1

( 25 )

5

88.-Can you refer to any other case?

-

A.-There was a case of 10 balls. That was the same man, and I handed the opium back to him.

89-Are these all the cases you have known within your experience of quantities of any consequence being taken, over to Yaumáti?

A-Yes, of large quantities.

90.-Between 10 and 500 balls?

A.--Yes.

91.-You have known of smaller quantities?

A. Yes.

92-When the opium is taken to the Kaulung District what is done with it?

A.—As a rule, and especially if it is in large quantities, it is stored away in huts, and the smugglers send out their spies to ascertain if there is a clear coast from the Chinese Revenue employés.

93. How do they send it?

A-They carry it in bags which they put across their shoulder on bamboos-blue cotton bags specially made for the purpose. Each bag would hold from 10 to 14 balls. It is a long blue bag.

}

94.-How do they go? Do they go singly?

A.-As a rule they go in numbers, in Indian file.

95. Are they armed?

There is a class of men who

A. As a rule a number of them are not armed. call themselves cattle dealers, and whom I have questioned with reference to smuggling. As a rule I have met them without arms.

96. You have frequently stopped these people and examined their bundles?

A. Yes.

97. Have they always produced bills of purchase?

A.-In every case. I have never known a case where they did not produce a bill.

98.-How do you know they intended to smuggle? How do you know they had not got the Grand Chop or Customs receipts, which can be obtained over at Ch'éung- chau or in Hongkong itself?

A.-The only way I knew was from their own statement that they were smuggling.

99.-What time was it when you met them?

A.-Always at night. I never met them in any single case in the day time.

100.-Have you ever passed the Customs Stations? What means have they of preventing smuggling?

A.-They have plenty of men at any time. I have met at Kaulungtsai as many as 39 men all armed with old muskets and gingals.

Mr. RYRIE.-Then they are summoned for the purpose. I never see any one there.

*

( 26 )

101.-Do you remember a case of some of these so-called Customs spies being brought up for robbery in 1876?

A.-I do. The case occurred off Green Island. Two of them were sentenced to six years' penal servitude and to be twice publicly flogged. Another prisoner was sentenced to three years' penal servitude, and four others were discharged. (The sen- tences were not carried out as the men were acting under the orders of a mandarin).

102.-Have you any knowledge of what these men are paid for running this opium safely to its destination?

A.—I have no idea except from what the men have told me themselves. $2 I think is the amount they have told me they clear on each ball.

103.-Have you known of cases of smugglers attempting to get over the hills being turned back, besides the one you have given in that report of the men you found in the huts?

A.-I have.

104.-Can you give other instances besides that one occurring in January?

A.—I have known of men coming back with 38 and 15 balls of opium. I think that was in 1878. The next case was in April last, in which there were 11 balls..

105.-Have you ever heard of these people being wounded?

A.-No.

106.-Have you heard of any fighting?

A.-No.

107.-Why do they turn back?

A.—As a rule they have their spies ahead of them, who return and give them the information that the Chinese soldiers are on guard waiting for them; if that is so, then they come back to prevent the soldiers seizing the opium.

108.-Have you known of small boats taking opium from Yaumáti?

A. Yes.

109.-How many cases do you know of?

*

A.-I could not exactly give you the number; I know of several. There are two particular men in Yaumáti, who make a living by it. That man who was robbed off "Green Island is one, and the man whose boat was seized with 90 balls is the other. They make a regular trade of running a small boat with opium, hugging the shore all the way going up the river.

110.—Are these the only two men?

A.-Those two do it regularly. There may be others.

111. Where do they run the opium?

A.-I have never questioned them.

112.-They cannot go to Canton in small boats.

A.-The man who was robbed off Green Island was going to Ch'éungchau.

113. But there is a Customs Station there.

A.-That is on the North side; he was going to land on the South East side.

( 27 )

114.-Can you state how they fix up the opium in case they are overhauled by the Customs Cruisers?

A. I have seen cases where the opium was made up as bags of netting. The opium was rolled up in oiled paper and put in this netting-and a stone was attached to it with a rope. Being questioned as to why they had it in that form they said that if they were overhauled they threw it overboard and marked the place, and afterwards dredged for it.

115.-Do these cattle dealers take the opium for themselves or do they carry it for

others?

A.-It is their own property. The cattle dealers say they want to turn their money over twice. They bring their cattle here and sell them and take the opium back and sell it.

116.-Do you know anything of naval fights in the waters of the Colony?

A. I know nothing of such fights. I have been in the Police Force 11 years last February. I have had 7 or 8 years' experience of out-stations. During that time the only cases of fights I have known are: (1) that of the Pingchauhoi, which I only know by hearsay; (2) the case at T'òkwawán; and (3) the case where the junk took refuge on Stone Cutters' Island.

117.-What was that case at Stone Cutters' Island?

A.-It was a case of a small sampan. A number of men employed a sampan to take their opium and land it at Ts'inwán, and while they were crossing between the north-end of Stone Cutters' and the mainland, the Chinese Cruisers came out from Shamshuipò and pursued them. The smugglers ordered the sampan to turn back, and she did so and beached on Stone Cutters' Island. The Corporal in charge of the guard there went down to see what was the matter, and the Cruiser turned back. He took the boat and the men to Yaumáti. On the men being questioned with reference to their opium, they produced their bills and then I allowed them to go.

I did not detain them or their opium.

118. There was no fight?

:

A.-No; no fight, only that the boat was chased by the Cruiser on to the Island.

119.-Are there any Revenue Launches or Sailing Cruisers anchored at Yaumáti Harbour or within your jurisdiction?

A.-No; they are not allowed to anchor there. They all anchor at Shamshuipò, in their own territory, about 800 yards beyond the back gates of the Dock.

120.-How many are there?

A.-Sometimes three, sometimes only one-a launch as a rule and two sailing crafts. They are always there on the watch. They very often get repaired at a sort of slip at a village called Mongkoktsúi, where there is a carpenter who as a rule repairs all their boats, but when they come there the Captain comes and reports his arrival, his name, and the name of his vessel and the port from which he came, and states that his reason for coming there is to undergo repair. Under these circumstances they are not objected to, but in no other case are they allowed to anchor on the Kaulung side.

( 28 )

121. You do let them anchor in the waters, there?

A. Only for repairs.

122. With reference to these Customs Stations on the hills, I think 70 or 80 men might pass at any time?

A.-They might if they could land their opium at Kaulung without anybody going to inform the Customs people before-hand. I have known two cases where the owner of the boat, where they put up, received a fee for putting them up, and he sent another man direct to the Revenue Station with the information that these men were there and were to cross the boundary on such and such a night, and on that occasion the Customs people were doubly prepared to meet them, because they sent and got men from Kaulung City.

123.-I think I could pass any of them. I have been to most of them..

A.--It is a very simple thing; a much more simple thing to go by land than water.

124.-Do you know of anything else as to which you can inform the Commission?

A.-No; I am not aware of anything.

ALEXANDER MACKIE examined and states:-I am Inspector of Police and Harbour Officer at Sháukiwán.

125.-How long have you been at Shaukiwán?

A. Since February, 1882.

126.-Do you remember reporting a case on the 21st September, 1882, where 100 Chinamen were said to have been carrying opium to the mainland and came back to Sháukiwán?

#

A. Yes.

See post

page 96.

}

127.-There was a report made to you of a fight having taken place between these men and some Chinese Customs Officers on the mainland?

A. Yes.

128.—It was reported to you that the fight took place at Ch'akwoling?

A. Yes.

129.-Was there a report made about any person being killed in that encounter?

A.-Yes; one man.

130. Subsequent to that date did you see any of the men belonging to that party at Sháukiwán?

A.-Yes; one man.

131.-Did he give you any information as to the number of men that were then in the party?

A.—He informed me the party was reduced, and that they belonged to the same party Inspector CAMERON had arrested in January.

T

( 29 )

132.—Do you remember an occurrence in the 17th November, 1882, in which a small junk came to Sháukiwán harbour, and you charged the master for making a false return of armament?

A.-Yes; the master got 14 days' imprisonment. He had nothing at all on board except a few arms. He told me he was going to use the boat in smuggling.

133.-How long have you been in the Force?

A. 11 years.

134.-During that time have you seen any fight, either in or out of the waters of the Colony, between so-called smugglers and Revenue Cruisers?

A.-No.

135.--Have you ever seen junks chased into the waters of the Colony?

A. Yes, I have seen them; at Stanley.

pages 93-95.

136.--You remember making a report once about a junk being seized within these post waters? That was in 1879 when you were stationed at Stanley.

A.-Yes; I did make a report in November, 1879.

137.-And that formed the subject of some official investigation by the Harbour

Master?

-Yes.

138.Do you remember another case you reported of a junk which complained of having had opium stolen from on board her by a Revenue Cruiser?

A. Yes; that was on the 11th December, 1879.

139. Did you find out whether any opium had really been taken?

A. I did not find out. I do not think she had it on her papers.

140.-Do you remember a junk coming into Táit'ám Bay and taking her papers to the Harbour Station, while she sent to Victoria for a launch to tow her into the Harbour?

A. Yes.

141. What was she laden with?

A-Salt.

142. Do you know where she had come from?

A.—I do not remember, but it will be in the books at Stanley. They generally come from Ki Chek.

143:-With reference to the case of the 21st September, how many muskets did you see with the men who came from Ch'akwoling?

A.-About twelve.

144.—And how many boats?

A. Three.

145.-Did you see any revolvers?

A.-I saw some revolvers.

1

2

( 30 )

146.-What kind of opium was it they had?

A.-There were different kinds. Some I think was Patna and some Malwa,

147.-You made a full report of the thing to the Superintendent of Police?

A.-Yes.

"

148.—What kind of boats were those that they came in-small boats or sea going vessels ?

A.-Small sampans.

149. Did you see anything of the fight?

A.-No.

150. All your information then was from inquiry?

A. Yes..

151.-Did you hear any firing?

A.-No.

152.-Who was killed?

A. One of the Revenue Officers. None of the smugglers were killed.

153. Did these boats belong to the Colony? Were they numbered?

A.-I believe they belonged to Shamshuipò. They were not numbered or licensed, and did not belong to the Colony.

154.-Did you ever hear or know of a case of this kind before during your experience in the Force?

A.-No.

155.-Was it from the smugglers you heard of this fight, or from the Revenue Officer at Fatt'auchau Station?

A.-I sent the Coxswain in the boat to Ch'akwoling to make inquiries. He did so, and afterwards I saw the Customs Officer at Kaulungt'ong and he gave me the name of the man who was killed.

156.

156.-Did you

learn how far the fight was inland from the seaboard?

page 95.

A.-They were not very far from the shore-not more than 400 or 500 yards. 157.-There was a minute of the Governor's in 1879, on Colonial Secretary's letter as post 2976 to this effect. "Let the Captain Superintendent inform Inspector MACKIE that "he must be more careful in future. He ought to have stated in the first instance what "he seems to have omitted when questioned by the Acting Harbour Master, that no "complaint whatever reached him on the subject." Did you consider that a censure when it was communicated to you?

A. Yes.

158.-Did that prevent your taking any similar steps with reference to further cases of the kind?

A.-Had I seen the same occurrence in the same place again and had no complaints been made, I should have taken no notice of it.

T

( 31 )

159.-You understood from that, that you were not to bring such cases to the notice of the Government again if a junk was taken away by a Cruiser from British waters, unless a complaint was made?

A. Yes.

page

160.-Do you remember reporting a case on the 31st August, 1882, of the boarding Sag 9. of a junk in British waters, at Ch'áiwán, by five or six men belonging to a launch from the Fatt'auchau Custom's Station?

A. I do. I sent in a written report.

161.-Is there any other information you can give the Commission which would

be useful in this inquiry?

.

A.-I think I have stated all I know.

162.-Do any

of the launches anchor in your district?

A.--No; I do not allow them. They are supposed to anchor in Victoria, but some of them anchor outside and over at Kaulung Bay. A man came to me the other day about his boat being seized at Pákshawán. I took the report and sent it in, and Captain DEANE took it as an incident in the Police Morning Report.

163.-Where is Pákshawán?

A.-Just outside the Liümún Pass; it is a bay in this Colony.

164.-What steps did you take with reference to this?

A.-I simply reported the matter.

165.-You made a special report in writing?

A. I do not think I made a special report. It simply appeared in the morning report.

166. Did you try to find out the locality in which the boat was attacked?

A.-The man told me it was about three fathoms off the land.

167.-What was the report you made?

A.-(Reads report.)—I asked him who told him he would get his junk back and he said he did not know.

168.-Then you cannot fix the spot except by guess work?

A.-No.

169. What is the distance from that place to the opposite shore?

A.-I should say 700 or 800 yards. close to the Hongkong side, so as not to go near the Customs Station. I under- stood the man to mean that he had been off the headland near the Liümún Pass. I took him to Captain DEANE'S Office afterwards, and he reported the matter.

Nearly all boats coming into Hongkong keep

WILLIAM RIVERS, Inspector of Police, is examined---

170.-How long have you been in the Police Force?

1

A.-Thirteen years and ten months.

( 32 )

171.-Were you also acting as Inspector under the Harbour Department a portion of that time?

A. Yes.

-

172.-Were you at Aberdeen from 1874 to January, 1876?

A.-Yes; and from August, 1877 to February, 1879, at Stanley.

173.—During that time have you ever had occasion to report anything in connection with smuggling-either opium or salt?

A.-No.

174.—And you were Harbour Officer while you were at these out-stations?

A. Yes.

175.-Do you know anything about the smuggling of saltpetre?

A.-In November last year there was a case in which men were charged with the pages 76-82. unlawful possession of 160 bags of saltpetre. It was taken out of a boat by Revenue Cruisers-the boat people said off Lápsápwán. That case was tried at the Supreme Court in January.

176. Have you ever seen any contests or fights in Chinese waters between Revenue Cruisers and junks?

sea.

A.-No.

177.--Have you seen seizures by Revenue Cruisers in the waters of the Colony? A.-No. I have only seen junks towed by Cruisers across Stanley Bay, out at

I believed they were in custody. They were out of Hongkong waters.

178.-Have you seen any firing going on between vessels inside the waters?

A.—I have not seen any; I have heard of it, off Cape d'Aguilar, when I was at. Stanley. I have not seen it myself nor heard the firing.

179.-Is there any other information you can give which will throw any light on the smuggling of opium, salt, or other goods from the Colony into China?

A.-No. I know there is smuggling going on. About once a month 50 men leave this Colony for Kaulung. Acting Sergeant KEMP reported a case about a month ago. They leave Hillier Street or Bonham Strand.

180.-How long is it since this smuggling of quantities of opium over the Kaulung hills commenced?

A.-I have not been doing duty in the Central District for long, but since I have been here that is the only case I have heard of.

181. Is it more than a year since you heard of it?

A: Yes.

182. In quantities?

A. Yes-each man taking two or three balls, and every other man a musket, and leaving here between nine and ten o'clock at night. It is fourteen months since I returned from leave, and I have known of this going on during the whole of that time.

( 33 )

183.-Have you known of large quantities going all the time, or has it increased

latterly?

A.-The first time they said over 100 men, but the last two reports said 40 or 50. The report of 100 men was about ten months ago.

JOHN FLEMING, Sergeant of Police stationed at the Central Station is examined—

184.-How long have you been in the Police Force?

A.-For 11 years.

185.--You were stationed at Yaumáti for two years.

Were you in charge then?

1

A.-I was Sergeant; the Inspector was there too.

186. Had you anything to do with the Harbour duties?

A. Yes, in the absence of the Inspector.

187.-That was in December, 1879?

A. Yes.

188.-Have you ever noticed anything about salt being what you thought was smuggled from Yaumáti to Chinese territory?

A.- I have.

189.-How often? and what was the nature of this smuggling?

A. -There are a great number of boats there that do nothing else but take away salt to Chinese places.

190.-But more of them carry salt legitimately, don't they, under passes from the salt Commissioners?

A. Not the ones I ever had anything to do with these small smuggling boats, overmanned, with about three men for every one they would have otherwise, do not.

191.-Will you describe how they carry on that business, and what their operation is, from your own observation?

A.-A number of them generally go together.

192.-How many

?

A.—I have seen as many as ten or eleven together, junks of 250 to 300 piculs. They are overmanned-I should say three men for every one they would have if they were acting legitimately. Each man has a rifle, or a musket rather at times I have seen a rifle, but not often. They have ammunition, and each boat is provided with two or three guns; the small boats have only one. They use fishing nets to hang over the side of the boats.

193.-Have you ever seen any attacks made, either by junks on the Chinese Revenue Cruisers or by Revenue Cruisers upon them?

A.-No; I have not actually seen such attacks, but I have often heard firing in the direction of Kapshuimún Pass, and I have heard afterwards that it was smugglers.

!

( 34 ) ·

194.-You said something about some of the shop-keepers buying back their junks. What about that?

A.-Yes; one man in particular told me he bought back his junk. He said it could be done that the Chinese would sell back the junk after they had seized it; that is, if they did not resist or fight, the Chinese authorities would let them go and allow them to redeem the junk, but if they fought, they would not.

195.-Have you ever seen men coming back wounded from

any fights?

A.—No; I cannot say I have. I have seen them carrying back their rifles and provisions after they have lost their junks. They have run the junk ashore and walked back by land, having allowed the Customs to seize the junk.

196. Are there any Revenue Cruisers, or launches of the Chinese Government anchored close to Yaumáti or Shamshuipò?

A.-At Shamshuipò there is generally a small launch belonging to the Chinese Customs.

197.-Have you had reports made to you while stationed at Yaumáti about highway robberies, which on investigation turned out to be the Revenue Officers stopping would-be smugglers?

A.-Yes; that is on the mainland outside our jurisdiction.

198.-Have these cases been frequent?

A.-Well, not frequent, there were two or three instances while I was there.

199.-Did they come to complain of being robbed?

A.-Yes; and on investigation it was found the occurrence had taken place in Chinese territory, and that it was the Chinese authorities seizing opium they were carrying towards Kaulung city.

200.-Do you remember any case of saltpetre and the sale of the junk at Yaumáti? ·

A.-Yes; there was a junk sent there that was seized at Sháukiwán. 201.-How did it come within your knowledge?

1

A.-It was sent there for safety sometime before it was sold. It was kept in charge of the Police and was sold by the Government. It was seized by the Govern- ment for leaving the Harbour without a clearance.

202.-When was that?

A.-I cannot give the date: it was between 1878 and 1879.

203.-It was confiscated by the Government of Hongkong?

A. Yes.

204. For breach of Harbour Regulations?

A. Yes.

205.--What is the size of these salt smuggling junks?

A.-250 piculs, but there are some smaller ones; 250 piculs is about the usual size, and some are 300 piculs.

206.-Were you Acting Inspector of Sháukiwán last year?

A. Yes, I was for a short time.

( 35 )

207.-In June and July?

A.-Yes.

208. Did anything occur with reference to the seizure of a junk in British waters?

A. Yes.

209.-What was it?

A.-One morning two men, who represented that they came from the Fatt'auchau Customs Station, came to the Station and reported that a junk which had been taking opium out had run ashore near Cape Collinson and landed the opium, and that they could not touch her as she was in English waters; afterwards she had gone into Chinese waters and they had seized her; and they wished to report the matter. I asked one of the two men if he had seized her in Chinese waters, and he said yes, but that there might be trouble about it. I sent out to see where the junk was, and she was right in the Bay opposite Sháukiwán village on the Chinese side.. I asked him if he had any objection to go with me to see what the people on the junk had to say. He said he had none whatever. I got the Harbour boat and went out with him to where the junk was. While I was going out they got up anchor and tried to sail out through the Pass again. In beating out she had to come across into English waters towards Sháukiwán. I boarded her there. The master said they had seized his junk and were taking him to the Customs Station. I said he was in English waters and he had better steer for Sháukiwán. He did so, and I arrested four men belonging to the Customs Station. From what I was told the junk had been seized alongside the land on the English side in the Liümún Pass. They said they were keeping her off the land with bamboos. I brought these four men in here and the master of the junk. The men I charged with being in possession of this junk in English waters. The case was heard by Captain THOMSETT and he "discharged them.

210.-Was there opium on board?

A.-There was no opium then. The Master of the junk said he took on board a quantity of opium in Tanglungchau, that is Causeway Bay, the evening before, about four o'clock, and he sailed out to pass the Customs Station, intending to land it after- wards, but he ran it ashore and the men had carried it back overland. I charged the Master of the junk for leaving without giving notice, and he was fined $25.

211. Do you know anything else with regard to the smuggling of goods into China? A.-No; I cannot say I do.

JOHN BUTLIN, Sergeant of Police, examined-

212.-How long have you been in the Police Force?

A.-About eight years.

213.-Have you been chiefly at the out-stations-Yaumáti, Hunghòm, and

Whitfeild?

A. Yes.

214.-Has it been part of your duty to board boats in the Harbour?

A. Yes; on certain occasions.

( 36 )

215.-What was the occasion of your boarding these boats?

A. Sometimes I have had information there were suspicious characters on board; sometimes I have gone and asked for the anchorage pass. They would show me their papers, and I would like to see if they had the things as they stated.

216.—In

216. In the course of these investigations have you found opium on board sampans

at night, and saltpetre, and so on?

A.-I have seen opium on board junks, and I have seen it put on board.

217.-Did they tell you what they were doing with it?

A. Yes; on one occasion at Whitfeild they.told me they were going to smuggle it. They had three or four bags.

218.-It was always at night they took it?

A. Yes. I followed them from Jardine's steps and saw them take the opium to this junk.

219.—What size were these boats generally that took the opium?

A.-Ordinary sized fishing boats, 100 piculs or more.

220.-Do you know anything about salt junks?

A.—I have seen salt on board junks sometimes, but I have not had much to do with salt junks.

221. Have you noticed how they were armed?

A.-I have noticed them armed more heavily than other junks.

222.---What is the largest crew you have seen?

A.-I have seen 25 or 36 men.

223.--And what quantity of arms?

A.-Some have more and some less. I have seen some with cannon on board and some with rifles.

224. Have not most junks that go to sea cannon?

A. Some of these ordinary fishing boats that do smuggling have not cannon. Most of the large sea-going junks have cannon, muskets, and ammunition.

225.-Whether they smuggle or not, do not all traders carry arms for their own

protection?

A. Yes, most of them-I cannot speak as to cannon, but I have seen cannon on many junks; but on the ordinary fishing boats that I have been told have been doing smuggling-I have.not seen cannon on them; I have seen other arms.

226.--Do you consider these are selected men that are in the opium and salt smug- gling junks?

A.-I think as a rule the crews are not specially chosen; they may be in some cases. You could not distinguish the crews of the junks that smuggle from the crew of any ordinary junk by physique, though they are generally more numerous in the salt junks, but not in other boats that smuggle opium.

}

}

( 37 )

227.-Have you ever seen any fighting?

A. I have never seen fights or firing between junks and Revenue Cruisers in British waters. On one occasion a man came to Yaumáti wounded, and he told me that he had been wounded by some men on board a Revenue Cruiser who had attacked the junk on board which he was somewhere in Chinese territory.

228.-Do you know of anything else?

A.-No, except that lately I have seen small quantities of opium taken on board the Canton steamer.

229.-Where are you stationed now?

A.-At the Central Station, on detective duty.

230.-Have you any knowledge of the quantity taken by the Canton steamers? A.-No, it is very hard to find out. hard to find out.

A man going on board the Canton steamer will take four or five balls, all cut in two and tied under his arms and round his waist.

I have seen them going on board while the passengers were being landed, and they may carry that on till morning time.

231.-This is since you have been on detective duty?

A.-Yes; on several occasion I have seen them. On one occasion I stopped a man who had four balls-the same man I had stopped before; he had as many as he could tie round his waist and some under his arms. I knew him, and stopped him to see if he was still carrying on the same game.

232.-What did you do with him?

A.-I let him go; there is no Ordinance against it—it was all raw opium. On one occasion I stopped a man with Inspector QUINCEY, and took him to the Station, but we could do nothing; the man said he could take us to the place where he bought it.

NINTH MEETING,

18th June.

Present:-Sir GEORGE PHILLIPPO, Chief Justice, (Chairman).

His Honour Mr. Justice RUSSELL, Puisne Judge.

Honourable P. RYRIE, M.L.C.

Honourable F. B. JOHNSON, M.L.C.

Mr. J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART, (Secretary).

EMANUEL RAPHAEL BELILIOS is examined-

233.-You are a Merchant in Hongkong?

A. Yes.

234. And have been here for how many years?

A.--Since 1862.

235.-A large portion of your business is connected with trading in opium?

A. Yes.

( 38 )

236.— What kind of opium is it you chiefly deal in, Indian opium or Persian?

A.-Patna, Benares, Malwa and Persian.

237.-Can you inform the Commission what quantity of Persian opium is imported into Hongkong?

A. Recently I think about 6,000 chests per annum-6,000 to 8,000.

238.--It has been increasing lately, has it not?

the

A. Yes, from 2,000 originally to 6,000 or 8,000, but this year, up to now, quantity received is only about 2,000 chests. This is due to the reported failure of the crop in Persia.

239.-Could you inform the Commission as to what have been the rates levied on opium imported into China during the last 15 or 20 years, first, by the Foreign Customs when imported through the Foreign Inspectorate, and, secondly, when imported through the native branch of the Imperial Customs? Could you say what the aggregate amount of taxes is?

A.—I

A. I think the aggregate has been increasing gradually-almost every year. If you go back 15 or 20 years it was not so much. The aggregate I think has doubled recently.

240.-Could you give us definite figures as to what the amounts have been, say from 1870 up to the present time?

A.-I should say

from Tls. 50 up to Tls. 90 or Tls. 100 now on Indian opium.

241.-Whether Patna or Malwa, it makes no difference?

A.-I think not.

242.-There is a difference at present?

A. Because the chest of Bengal weighs about 120 catties and is more than a picul.

243.-Do the figures you have given include the Customs duty?

A.—Yes, including the Customs duty. I think they calculate the duty on the picul, and take on the chest.

244.-Would you be able to furnish the Commission with a return showing what has been paid during the last 13 years say, on opium imported from Hongkong into China through the Foreign Inspectorate and through the native branch?

+

A.-I am afraid not; I have not kept statistics myself.

245.-Do you not think you could get it from the Compradore-a table showing the

annual increase?

A. He might give us an idea, but I do not suppose he could give us a correct

statement.

246.-An approximate statement?

A.-Exactly.

247.-Have you any knowledge of what opium is sent from here to Macao and Manila, and to other parts other than the open Ports of China?

1

( 39 )

A.-I think about 1,500 chests per month of Bengal opium is sold locally here. Shipments are made out of that to Macao, Manila, Hainan, &c., and a portion of it is boiled; and about 500 chests per month of Malwa on an average.

See

248. We have got the statistics practically from Sir ROBERT HART's reports as page 62. to' what passes in through the Coasting Steamers, but it is as to what goes to Macao, Manila, and Annam we do not know.

249.-How much do they take in the Straits?

A.—I think about 700 chests per month in Singapore, about 200 in Penang, and about 100 in Singapore for Batavia. At times when they are speculating they may take more than 1,000. That is Benares; I do not suppose they take any Malwa. Penang takes a few chests of Patna.

}

250.-And does any go to Saigon?

A.-Out of what is landed in the Straits and by the M. M. Steamers direct from Calcutta, I should think about 100 chests per month is shipped to Saigon.

251.-Within how many years do you think the opium Revenue exacted by the Chinese Government has doubled? You say it has increased from Tls. 50 to Tls. 100.

A.-I think since Sir RICHARD MACDONNELL'S time.

252. Has it increased during the last three years?

A.-Certainly.

253.-Do you refer to the Foreign Inspectorate or the duties collected at the ports that are not open ports?

A.

Opium that is taken by the Chinese from here generally pays duty at the barriers here.

254.-Do they charge the same amount as the Canton Customs?

A.-They do not charge more.

255.-They charge twenty-five per cent. less on lekin and regular duty, and forty on Hoi-fong?

A.-I have heard that, but I have made inquiries and I find it is the same aggregate sum as is collected in Canton-I mean that if you land opium at Canton and pay your import duty and all other taxes, the aggregate sum would be the same as at the barriers. If it is the case that the charges at the barriers are less I think it is due to the duties being farmed out. The farmer would encourage a larger amount to pass the barriers so that he would make a larger profit.

256.-You furnished the Colonial Treasurer with returns last year shewing the

amounts?

A. Yes I remember.

+

FREDERICK DAVID SASSOON is examined-

257.-You are the resident partner of the firm of D. SASSOON, Sons & Co.?

A. Yes.

258.-And your firm has been engaged here for a long time in dealing in opium?

A. Yes.

( 40 )

page 63.

259.-You furnished a return to the Commission giving a statement of the amount Spot of Bengal opium exported from Calcutta to China from 1855 to 1872 and 1880 to 1881.. That is the return? (Return shown).

A. Yes.

260.-There are no figures given for the years between 1872 and 1880. How is that? Were there no returns?

A.-No statistics were kept by us.

261.-Now you say here the amount of Bengal opium imported in 1880 was 45,611 chests. Can you say how much of that passes on to Shanghai, Amoy, and the other open ports?

A.-About half I should say.

262.-What would you say is the amount generally left here? A.-About twenty-two or twenty-three thousand chests.

263.-Can you state how that is disposed of-how much would go to Swatow, Amoy, Foochow, Formosa, Hainan, or to Manila or Macao?

A.-It varies a great deal each year. It depends how the taxes are levied by the Mandarins. Very often they increase the taxes, and then the opium does not go to that place, but goes to some other place.

264.-But speaking generally of these 22,000 chests, what amount on an average would find its way to Amoy and Swatow and these other places in foreign bottoms?

A.-I should say about 5,000 chests from the total import.

265.-Now as to Persian opium, I see your last return, 1880 to 1881, gives 7,800 chests. Can you state how much of that goes to the Northern Ports, and how much is left behind in Hongkong in the first instance?

A.-It is sold here or transhipped, but the bulk of it has to go away; there is very little left for local sale; it is either sent on by the importers, or shipped by Chinese.

266.-How much is there left over for local use or distribution in native bottoms?

A.-I should say very little-about 1,000 chests.

267.—The import of Persian opium has been increasing very largely these last few

years?

A. Yes.

268. In 1876 there were only 1,800 chests imported, and now there are 9,100?

A. Yes.

See post

269.-You have seen these returns from the Foreign Customs, showing the quantity ag imported in foreign bottoms into Chinese ports. Will you look at those returns? If you look at 1881, the whole amount imported into Hongkong was 90,000 chests. Does that correspond with what you understand it to be? You only made 42,000 chests.

Mr. F. B. JOHNSON.-But this includes all sorts.

A. This is about right I should say-the total import of all kinds. All the opium that comes to China comes to Hongkong first, whether by the P. and O. or other steamers, and any one can easily ascertain the amount.

1

t

t

/ 270.-Can you the Native Customs?

41)

state what the present tax is upon a chest of opium clearing through

A.-No, I do not know.

271.-Can you tell whether there has been an increase of recent years in the taxes levied by the Chinese Customs on opium?

A.-No; I cannot say.

272.-Can you give us any information on the subject further than we have asked you with regard to smuggling from this port?

A.-Well, only hearsay. We don't know what they smuggle; we only hear from Chinese. I suppose there is a certain amount of smuggling, but I cannot say exactly

what amount.

JOHN SWANSTON,. Inspector of Police and Harbour Officer at Stanley is examined-

273. How long have you been in the Police Force?

A.-Eleven years and six months.

274.--And during most of that time you have been at some of the out-stations? A.-I have been at out-stations since 1877, as Inspector. I was there as Constable

before.

275.-How long altogether?

A.-I should say between eight and nine years.

276. With reference to the so-called smuggling of opium, what is the largest quantity you have seen in a boat?

A. About 200 balls.

277.-What is the usual quantity smuggled?

A.-Some have one ball, some two or three.

278.-What number of a crew do the boats carry?

A.—It varies according to the piculage, but they generally carry a good crew for the size of the boat.

279.-What is the size of these boats?

A.-From 10 piculs up to two or three hundred, and sometimes higher.

-Do you remember in 1877 or 1878 boarding a large junk on which you found a chest of Benares opium?

A-Yes; in 1877.

281. And what did you do about that?

A.-I brought the Master before the Harbour Master.

282.-What was done?

A.-He was discharged.

283.-What did you charge him with?

A.-Not giving a correct account of the cargo he had on board.

( 42 )

284.-Was that because he had not reported the opium?

A.-He had not reported the opium.

285.-Are they bound to report opium? I think not.

A. They are bound now under the new Ordinance; they were not before except on arrival.

286. Have you seen any fights between the Cruisers and junks?

A.--No.

287.--Have heard of any?

you

A. Yes, I have heard of several engagements. I have heard from the Gunner of the P'ingchauhoi.

288. You have never seen any yourself?

A.-No.

289.--Do you know anything about saltpetre smuggling?

A.--Yes.

290.-How is that done?

A.-The saltpetre is generally taken on board the boats at Shamshuipò under the name of white sugar.

291.-Shamshuipò is in Chinese territory?

A. Yes, they clear from our territory and go over there.

292. What is the crew?

Ma

A.--A boat of 500 piculs will carry 15 or 20 of a crew.

293. Is that an unusual number?

;

A.—No, it is a common number amongst those that carry salt and saltpetre.

294.--Are they fitted out differently from common trading junks?

A.-They have fighting nets on the side.

295.-What are they for?

A.-They are old fishing nets doubled for the purpose of stopping the bullets.

296.-Do you remember a case in which you took the Master of one of these boats before the Magistrate, and he was fined $50 for furnishing untrue particulars? Do you remember when that was?

A.-In December last.

297.--Do you remember another case you had in which you found 27 muskets and 294 bayonets on board? That was not the same case, was it?

A.-No.

298.-Did you say they took the opium to Shamshuipò?

A.-They took it there in small boats.

299.-And when they get there?

A.-They put it on board the larger boats.

1

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31

( 43 )

300.-But one Inspector in his evidence said there were two or three Customs boats there, and I know there is a Customs Station?

A. They may be near the Docks, and the launch would be frightened to come so near into our waters.

Mr. P. RYRIE.-There is no one to prevent them at the Docks.

301.-Can you refer to that case of 3,000 percussion caps and 294 bayonets?

A.-It was on the 3rd July, 1882.

302.-That Captain was fined $50 for giving untrue particulars too?

A.--Yes.

303.-Have you always brought up such cases before the Magistrate-when you have found them with untrue particulars?

A. Yes, since the new Ordinance was passed, since 1879, that is. We had no power before. They could state anything they liked in clearing, and we could not punish them for it. Since 1879 they have been brought up by me.

}

304.-These are the only cases you have had?

A.—We have had cases of a man being a stranger in the place and, not knowing the regulations, leaving the harbour, but not smuggling, or anything of that kind.

305. These are the only two cases of importance?

A. Yes.

306.-Have you ever seen any fights in British waters?

. A.—No, never.

307.-Or heard of them?

A.-Yes; I heard once about a fight between the P'ingchauhoi and salt smugglers at the back of Stone Cutters'.

308.-Do you know anything about the bringing of salt from the North?

A.—The boats are of a small class, 200 to 300 piculs. I have seen them coming into Stanley and Shaukiwán.

309.-Do you know if many of them

the Liümún pass?

go

round the island instead of coming in through

A.-Well, I could not say. These are salt junks having an annual licence from the Hoppo.

310. And carry it under licence to Hongkong?

A.-They come to Hongkong, and from what I have heard they may pay duty on 6,000 piculs only and still have 7,000 piculs on board. They sell 1,000 piculs here and go on to Canton, and still they have the amount they paid duty on.

311.-You don't call that a smuggling affair?

A.-No; it would not pay large junks to smuggle.

312.-Do you know anything about the salt that is sold to fishermen?

A.--That is all smuggled.

1

( 44 )

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1

1

313.-Why do you say that?

A.-They smuggle it in small boats.

314. It is not smuggling to sell salt to a fisherman?

A.-Well, it comes from the China Coast.

315. And why shouldn't it?

A.-These boats are not licensed.

316.-You made a report on the 29th August, 1881, to Captain DEANE?

pages 97-98.

A. Yes. Under instructions from His Excellency the Governor I was called, see p. upon for a report on smuggling. The petitioners at Sháukiwán petitioned for more Police.

what

317.-And you made a report?

A. Yes. It was then supposed Shaukiwán was the head quarters of smuggling. 318.-Is there anything else you know about smuggling from Hongkong besides

you have told us?

A.-There was a case of a junk smuggling salt into Stanley seized in Stanley Bay, in our waters. I gave pursuit. That was on the 17th March last.

319.-Did

A. Yes.

you report it?

320.-And your report is in the Office?

A. Yes. I gave chase when the junk was let go.

321.-You saw it yourself?

A. Yes. I gave chase.

322.-And you brought the junk back?

A. It went into Aberdeen. The Cruiser put some men on board and put the crew down below, and when they saw me giving chase and that I would not give up, they would have left her to go on the rocks, only it happened some of the crew got up from below.

323.-And made a report?

you

A. Yes, on the 17th March.

324.—Why do you say they were smuggling salt?

A.-I saw it on board.

325.-But why do you say he was smuggling it?

A. He told me where he came from.

326.--Where was that?

A.-From Swatow. He said he paid his duty before he left, $7.

327.-How much salt had he on board?

A.--About 200 piculs.

328.--And he paid a duty of $7 ?

A. Yes.

See post

Page 99.

}

( 45 ).

329. Then why do you call it smuggling?

A. He wanted to smuggle it into Hongkong.

330.-But why should he not? You attach all these words to junks, but why was it smuggling?

A.-The amount he paid was not sufficient for the tax.

331.-Do you know what the tax would be?

A.--It would be more than $7. It was only a guard boat he paid it to.

Mr. RUSSELL.-In fact it was a squeeze.

332.--Had he not a paper?"

A.-No; he could not produce any papers.

There was another case on the 25th

*

February of a junk taken out of British waters.

See post

page 98.

333.-Did you report that?

A.-Yes.

· 334.-Where was that?

A.-At a village called Wongmakòk, at the corner of Stanley Bay.

335.-How did you know it was in British waters?

A.--He pointed out the place where he was anchored.

336.--You did not see the Cruiser?

A.-I saw the Cruiser passing about twenty minutes before towards the spot.

337.-How far was this from our shore?

A.--He was lying within 15 yards.

338. Was he at anchor before the Cruiser passed?

A. I did not see him until I boarded him, when he came into the harbour.

339.—You could not say whether he was 15 yards from the shore or not, except from the information the Chinese gave you?

A.-No. He had been severely maltreated by them. He had to be carried to the Station before he made the report.

340.-What sized boat was it that was seized?

A.-300 piculs; no armament; and four of a crew.

341. There was no fight then, unless on the one side?

1

A.--No. He had some opium, and they took the opium away from him. He was laden with 100 piculs of coal-dust from Shamshuipò, going North.

342.-Can you tell us anything else?

A.-No; that is all.

THOMAS MIDDLETON LEATHERBARROW, Second Boarding Officer, Harbour

Department, is examined-

343.-Where are you stationed now?

A.-At the Harbour Office.

( 46 )

344.--How long have you been in the Government Service?

A. Since February 1st, 1877.

345.-Have you been stationed at Stone Cutters' Island?

A. Yes.

346.--Do you know anything of

any fighting going on between junks and Cruisers, first, within the waters of the Colony; second, outside the waters near to the Colony?

A.--I have never seen any fighting.

347.--Do you know anything of the smuggling of opium from the Colony into

China?

A.--No, I have never been brought into contact with anything of that kind. I have heard of it outside.

{

348.--How long were you at Stone Cutters' Island?

A.-Two years and ten months.

349.--Do you know anything about salt smuggling junks?

A.-No, except that as I have been going to Stone Cutters' on an evening I have met boats coming from Yaumáti that I understood were salt junks, and they occasionally fired off guns coming down the Harbour.

350.-What do you mean by firing off guns?

A.-Guns that have been loaded, and whose charges are being fired off.

351.-Did you notice any difference in their armament?

A.-The boats I mean are those that have wash boards all round, and I think they have less guns than the larger trading junks.

352.-They could not use big guns if they had them?

A.-No.

353.--So you have never known, of your own knowledge, of any fighting in the waters of the Colony or adjacent thereto?

A.-No, nothing but what I have heard.

354.-Sometimes they let off big crackers?

A. Yes, going down the harbour. It is chin-chin joss business. But I have often passed them firing off guns.

355.-Muskets or guns?

A.-Muskets; they do not carry guns on account of the high wash boards.

356.-What is the object of the wash boards?

A. They are small sharp boats and they put up these boards to keep out the water. They unship them if they are light.

357.-Your predecessor Mr. MCCLELLAN in his evidence told us he heard fighting going on every night.

A.-I never heard it, and I think I was there longer than he was.

1

( 47 )

358.-Are you aware of any junks specially fitted out with arms for the smuggling of opium?

A.-No.

359.-Have you known any of that class of vessel since you joined the service?

A.-No.

JOAQUIM JOSÉ COLLAÇO is examined--

360.-You have been Inspector of Junks in the Harbour Department since the beginning of 1869?

A. Yes.

361.-Do you know anything about opium leaving this Harbour, how it is taken out, whether in large boats or small boats?

A.-Different sized junks take opium in the clearances. Sometimes you find one or two balls not in the clearance, and they say they belong to passengers. Then I send them to the Harbour Office to enter it in the clearance.

362. Have you ever seen any fighting in the Harbour?

A.-No.

363. Or in the waters close to it?

A.-No.

364.-Have you heard of any fights within the waters between junks and Revenue

Cruisers?

A.-No.

365. Neither inside the waters nor out?

A. I have never seen anything of the kind in English waters.

about outside.

366.-Your duties do not take you beyond the Harbour?

A.-No.

I know nothing

WONG LÜ-P'ÁNG, Sergeant Interpreter at No. 7 Police Station, is examined-

367.--How long have you been in the Police Service?

A.-About eight years and three months.

368.-You were formerly employed as an Interpreter in the Pingchauhoi, were

you not?

A. Yes.

369.-How many years were you on board her?

A.-About three years.

370.-During your experience in the P'ingchauhoi have you ever seen any fights with opium smugglers and salt smugglers, first, outside the Waters of the Colony, and secondly, inside?

P'ingchauhoi

A.-I never saw any fights. I have seen the P'ing chauhoi fire at junks, but the fire was never returned. They fired to make them heave to, and when they came round, then they would be searched.

( 48 )

371. And if they had opium without permits, you took them to Canton?

A.--If they had contraband goods on board.

372.--Salt, or opium, or saltpetre?

A. Yes, and arms sometimes.

373.-Now with reference to the quantities, you let a boat off if she had only a certain quantity-do you remember the quantity? If she had over a certain quantity, you took her to Canton?

A.--She would be seized for the least quantity of opium; they are not allowed to carry any. I learnt the rule was that when the quantity came up to 40 balls, the junk would be confiscated, but under that amount, the junk would be let off in payment of a fine.

374. Did you ever see the fire returned in any case?

A.--I never saw it returned at any time.

375.-Could you state anything about what was the nature of the armament of junks that were smuggling opium or salt--what sort of guns they had, and muskets, and ammunition, and so on?

A.-They generally carry guns and muskets and spears, just the same as ordinary trading junks, only they carry more; there are arms for everybody.

376. During the two or three years you were in the P'ingchauhoi, how many captures did you make of proper smugglers?

A.-There were between six and ten junks seized. During the first eighteen months there were more, but during the last eighteen months there were very few seizures made.

377.-Do you remember a statement made in 1876 as to how the P'ing chauhoi worked? Do you remember a statement made by you?

A.--Yes, I remember that.

378. This Commission is sitting to inquire into the alleged smuggling of opium and salt into China and the smuggling from China into Hongkong. Can you give us any information with reference to that, from your knowledge of what has been going on for the last ten years?

A.--Last time I was asked a question-Why do the small salt junks come to Hongkong? I think they must be smugglers, if the salt comes to Hongkong.

379.--Why do you think so?

A.--Because if they are not smuggling, they should go to Canton or Kunch'ung. They can get twice or three times as much for their salt there than here, as salt is very cheap here, and very dear in Chinese places.

that

380.--But don't you know there are regular trading junks with proper licences, carry salt into Hongkong from the North?

A.-They may touch here; they would not land the salt here.

381.-No, but sail into the harbour-don't you know that?

A.-Yes, they come here, but they would not discharge their cargo.

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( 49 )

382.-But not all salt that is brought into Hongkong is smuggled. It has paid its duties in the North. There are plenty of honest traders come to Hongkong?

A.-Yes, some do.

1

383.--Then there are junks that go outside and sail round by Stanley and go up by the Kapshuimún, and never touch Hongkong at all. A great deal of the salt goes that way?

A.-Yes; they go by the West Coast.

384.--Junks come down from the North and pass Hongkong and don't come here

at all?

A--Yes, very often.

WILLIAM QUINCEY, Inspector of Police, states:-I am an Inspector of Police. I do not know much about smuggling in the Colony. All I know is from hearsay. I know nothing about the signing of contracts to smuggle salt. I never even heard of it.

385.--Do you know anything of your own knowledge about the smuggling of either opium, salt, or saltpetre from the Colony?

A.-Very little by personal knowledge.

386.-Do you know anything about any houses in Victoria in which contracts to smuggle salt are regularly made between the owners of the cargo and the "blockade " runners?

Á.—Yes; both in Victoria and in Yaumáti.

387.-Do you know anything about contracts to smuggle salt?

A. From hearsay.

388.--Do you remember making this statement to Mr. LOCKHART, the Secretary of the Commission, on the 24th April. "I know nothing about the signing of contracts to smuggle salt. I never heard of it." Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct.

389.--You state then you know nothing about the signing of contracts to smuggle salt. How do you explain your answer now with what you said before?

A.-Well, I heard people saying there are such houses in Victoria and at Yaumáti but I cannot prove it, unless I go and make personal inquiries.

390.-No; but how do you explain your statement with this. "I know nothing about it; I never even heard of it?" Can you explain it?

A.-I made a mistake perhaps.

391.--Which is the mistake?

A.-That statement. I did hear that there were such houses in existence.

392.-Who told you?

A.-Some Chinese.

393.-Do you know anything else about smuggling, Mr. QUINCEY?

A.-Well, I know there are capitalists in the Colony, who let opium out to different smugglers on board the Canton steamers and other coasting steamers. They hire coolies and smuggle it on board; afterwards they give it to the different employés on board.

( 50 )

394.--To any extent?

A.-To a great extent. I arrested a man about a month ago on the Canton steamer Wharf. He had four balls on his person. I took him up, and he was ultimately discharged, because he told me where he bought the opium. The balls were cut up in halves and tied round his body and arms.

395. We heard of that from Sergeant BUTLIN.

A.-Yes; he was with me at the time. These cases are of frequent occurrence.

WONG AYAU states:-

396. Are you Sergeant Interpreter or Detective Police Sergeant?

A.-Before I was Sergeant Detective; now I am Sergeant Interpreter.

397.-You have been in the Force 15 years, I think?

A.--Yes.

398.--Do you know anything about opium smuggling into China from Hongkong?

A. Yes.

399. What do you know?

A.--I know some take it over to Kaulung and take it to Nimching.

400.-Do

you

know anything about any houses in Hongkong that make contracts

for smuggling either opium or salt with these blockade runners?

A. There was a salt shop at Yaumáti before and they smuggled the salt.

401.-Are there any now, over at Yaumáti or in Victoria?

A.-None at present in either place I think. I am not quite certain about it, because I have not made inquiries about the matter.

402.--Why do you say so then?

A.-I went over to Yaumáti the other day to make inquiry, but I have made no inquiry in Hongkong.

403.-Mr. CREAGH writes just before he left. "I asked Sergeant WONG AYAU about this," that is, about the houses in Victoria in which contracts to smuggle salt are regularly made between owners of cargo and "blockade runners," "and he assured me it was the case, and that many of the latter class are known to be pirates." Do you remember telling Mr. CREAGH that?

A. Yes, I said so to Mr. CREAGH.

404.-Then how do you explain that with your present statement?

A.—I have not said anything about opium yet, but I will tell you about it.

405.—And that there are many of the latter class known to be pirates, that is, the blockade runners?

A.--It is in this way.

These salt smugglers are chiefly pirates. Some of them are pirates and some are not. They don't commit the acts of pirates when they are taking goods up, but on their return voyage they do so.

A

+

( 51 )

406.-Why do you say that, what evidence have you?

A.-I learnt so from the salt smugglers.

407.-Did they tell you themselves they were pirates?

A.-The man I asked told me about the salt smugglers being pirates; he did not tell me he was a salt smuggler himself.

408.-Were you told this by more than one man?

A.-I was told by two persons.

409.-At one time?

A.-Twice-once at Yaumáti and once at Hongkong.

*

TENTH MEETING,

6th August,

Present:-Sir GEORGE PHILLIPPO, Chief Justice, (Chairman).

His Honour Mr. Justice RUSSELL, Puisne Judge. Honourable P. RYRIE, M.L.C.

""

F. B. JOHNSON, M.L.C.

. Mr. J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART, (Secretary).

Mr. P. A. DA COSTA examined :----

410.-You are Secretary to the Hongkong, Canton and Macao Steam-boat Company?

A. Yes.

411. This is a Commission appointed to investigate the circumstances of smuggling in the Colony, and we want to know from you if you can tell us anything about the smuggling that goes on in the River?

A.-There is a great deal of smuggling, principally opium, but also salt and saltpetre.

412.-How is the smuggling managed--not by the steamers?

A.-No; the smuggled goods are taken on board in a surreptitious manner by the crew and

passengers.

413.-By the Chinese or Foreign crew?

A.-The Chinese, as far as I know.

414. Are there any regulations of the Company adopted to check smuggling on board the River Steamers?

A.-There are.

415. Will you say what they are?

A.-The Captain, with the assistance of his Chief Officer, is to go round every trip in search of smuggled goods, and if any are found they are to be entered with the agents at Canton.

( 52 )

416.-Have there been frequent cases of seizure made?

A.-Very seldom.

417.-Do Custom House Officers travel frequently by the steamers?

A.-Very frequently.

418. And how is the opium generally concealed?

A.-In all sorts of ways on board.

419. And the crew are supposed to be privy to it?

A. Yes.

420.-Have you had any correspondence with the Commissioner of Customs?

A.-I have.

421.-What is the object of the Company in putting down smuggling so energeti-

cally?

A.It is in the first place to guard the interests of the Company against any stringent measures the Chinese authorities might take.

422.—That is, if smuggling was carried on to any large extent, the Commissioner would refuse the facilities granted at present for entering the port?

A. Yes.

423.-And the Company has issued stringent orders to its officers to put it down?

A. Yes.

424.-Will you tell us what the regulations are?

A.-Any one convicted of smuggling is to be dismissed from the service. There are the reports we receive from time to time from the Commissioner of Customs of things being found (Produces forms of notice by the Commissioner of Customs at Canton to the steamers' agents at Canton, reporting the seizure of goods in which the servants of See post the Company appear to have been implicated).

425.-You say the crew are engaged in it. Have you had instances?

A. We have.

426. The Chinese crew?

A. Yes.

427. Followed by dismissal?

A.--Followed by dismissal, when convicted.

428.--How long have you been Secretary to the Company?

A. Since 1875.

429. And you were in the office of the General Agents, HEARD & Co., before?

A. Yes; I have been connected with the Company since 1867.

430. Has it always been the case that the Company has given stringent orders against smuggling by any of the employés?

A.-Yes; they have been made more and more stringent from time to time.

431. And that every facility has been given to the Officers of the Customs Preven- tive Service to search.

page 93.

*

( 53 )

A.-Every facility has been given to them.

432.—And every effort made by the Company to put it down?

A. Yes.

433.-You have a suspicion that many of the officers have connived at this smuggling?

A.-We have a suspicion.

434. And have they all been warned?

A. Yes.

435. And they would be dismissed if discovered?

A. Yes.

436.-Is there anything else you know with regard to smuggling?

A.-Nothing occurs to me.

Mr. JAMES CLERIHEW examined :——

437.-You are employed as an Inspector of the Sanitary Department of the Colony?

A. Yes.

438.-Were you ever employed in the Canton Revenue Service?

A. Yes.

439.-In what capacity?

A.-As quartermaster in the Pingchauhoi, and afterwards in the Revenue Cruiser Kwashẳn.

440.-How long were you employed in the P'ingchauhoi.

A.-Six or seven months.

441. And in the other one?

A.-Altogether I was in the service close on three years.

442.-Do you remember what years?

A.-1878 to 1880.

443.-When you were examined here before you stated that many seizures of opium, salt, saltpetre, arms and ammunition, and rice coming into the Colony were made?

A. Yes.

444.-And that you had often conflicts with these junks and several times people had been killed on both sides?

A. Yes.

445.-Can you tell us more particularly any occasions in which fights took place? Can you give any instance?

A.—Just shortly after I joined the Kwashan I had a pretty good heavy fight in the Kapshuimún Pass, in Pirates Bay, with a saltpetre junk and salt junk together.

446.-Was there any one killed at that time?

A.-There were four killed on both sides.

( 54 ).

447.-Four on each side do you mean?

+

A.-Eight altogether: about three on my side and five or six on the other; some

were wounded and some cleared up the hill.

448.-Chinese?

A. Yes.

449.-What was the Kwashán?

A.--A launch.

450.-Were you in command of her?

A. Yes.

451.-How many men had you?

A.-Nine all told.

452.-How many on this particular occasion?

A.-Eight Chinese and myself.

453. And out of that number there were three men killed?

A. Yes. On the opposite side there were a lot wounded.

454.-What had you then to fight with?

A.-Two junks.

455.-Did they fire on you?

A. Yes, they fired on me. I hailed them to stop first, and I fired across their bows, and when they saw I was bent on making them stop, they fired back.

456. Both of them?

A. Yes.

457.-How do you know you killed four or five men on their junk?

A. By picking up their junk afterwards. When they fired, we were too strong for them. They ran the junk ashore.

458.-How many killed did you

A.-Three.

find?

459.--Can you tell us what month that was?

A.-No.

460.-What time of the night or day?

A.-It was night time, between eleven and twelve o'clock, flood tide.

461.-Did they come out from Hongkong?

A.-They came from Yaumáti.

462.-How do you know?

A.-Some of the men on board could talk English. Some of them had been in California.

463.-How do you know, if they all ran away?

A.-Because they came to Canton afterwards to get their junks back, and I saw

them in the Customs, and my own crew told me.

1

Ś

( 55 )

464.--But it was rather a venturesome thing, if they had killed three men, to go to the Customs?

A.-They generally knock about the Customs to hear what is going on.

465.-But would not their lives have been in danger?

466.-Why did you not take them?

A.-Oh, we didn't bother with them about that, so long as we got the prizes.

467.--Not if you saw them in the Customs?

A.-No. 'I don't think there is one European there who would do so. They say, "I don't care whether you get punished or not so long as I get the prize money."

468.-Was there any Chinese over you?

A.-No.

469.-Why did you seize the junk?

A.-Because she was smuggling.

470.-How do you know these junks you fired into and in which you killed five or six men, were smuggling?

A.--By information I received.

471. From whom?

A.-Chinese in Hongkong.

472.-Chinese informers?

A. Yes.

473.-And you share the goods?

A. The informer comes to us and points out a certain junk. We fire across her bows and hail her. If she is smuggling saltpetre, she will fire.

474.-Then when the men are killed, what evidence is there that there is smuggling?

A.-By finding the saltpetre on board.

475.--The Chief Justice has asked you a question which you have not answered. The Chinese of your crew, you say, saw the men of the crew you fired into. Was there no attempt to bring them before the Chinese authorities at Canton for murder?

A.-No.

476.-Although both yourself and the Chinese members of your crew saw the murderers there?

A.-Yes.

477.-You say

other cases?

"I have often had fights with these junks." Can you recollect any

A.-There was another case in the Kapshuimún. I was in the dingy and I was fired on by a junk with saltpetre and sulphur. There was no one killed, only one man on my side wounded.

478.-Did you

seize the junk?

A. Yes.

( 56 )

479.-Was there any one killed in the junk?

A.-Well we didn't know, because they got on the hills.

480.-What time was this?

A.-Between eight and nine o'clock.

481.--Can you remember what quantity of saltpetre there was?

A.-No. It was salt and sulphur.

482.-Do you remember what quantity?

A. As to the sulphur I cannot say, because there was a good deal of sulphur taken out and taken up the hills. The fishermen generally help the smugglers, because they get their salt cheap; 120 or 130 piculs of salt and 15 piculs of sulphur were in the junk when I seized her.

483. That is two cases. Do you remember any other cases?

A.-One case in the East Lamma.

484.-Was there any superior officer over you when you took the second junk?

A.-No. There were two launches together.

485.-You said you were in the dingy?

A.-I was in the dingy because we had seized a lot of small boats with salt-some 20 piculs, some 30, some 15, boats that had no business to carry Salt. My launch had no steam up, and we chased the boat from the Mainland to the other side of the Kapshui- mún in the dingy. There was another launch, and when they heard the firing they came to my assistance.

486. Now what was the third case?

A.-There was a third case between the East and West Lamma.

487.-What were you in then?

A. The launch-the Kwashán.

488.-Well, what was it?

A.-She had a lot of Foochow beans on board, and opium and arms underneath the bottom of the cargo.

489.-Did you seize her?

A. Yes.

490.-By information?

A. Yes, information from Hongkong.

491.—Were there any lives lost that time?

A.-No; we did not fire; we got very quietly on her.

492.-And how much opium did you get?

A.-300 odd balls.

493. And what about the arms and ammunition?

A.-There were rifles, revolvers, and gingals, all stowed away under the Foochow

beans.

!

( 57 )

494. And there was no firing in that case whatever?

A.-No.

495.-Do you remember any

A. Several small cases.

other cases?

496.--But you say "I have often had fights and several times people have been killed on both sides." You have only given us one case of people being killed. Can you give any other?

A.-Over at Macao we had a lot of men wounded.

497.-But in the vicinity of Hongkong you can only refer to one case?

A. Yes.

498. You cannot fix another case?

A.-No.

499. And how long were you in command of the Kwashán?

A.÷About two years.

500.--Now you speak about rice. Have you seized rice coming into Hongkong?

A. Yes.

501.-Had you any fights over that?

A.-No; it is generally in small quantities.

502.—What quantities?

A.-200 to 300 bags.

503.-You took that to Canton as well?

A. Yes.

504. These boats with salt and saltpetre, were they heavily armed?

A. Yes.

505.-How many men had they?

A.-30 or 40 men.

506.-You say it was a dark night; how could you tell?

A.—By their papers. Our own Chinese knew all about smuggling, and could tell exactly how many men are on board.

507. Did they look like ordinary merchant junks?

A. Yes.

508. Had they a bigger armament?

A.--No, about the same. Some of them have three or four small cannons.

509.-How do you account for your eight men driving off these thirty or forty?

A.-You must remember we have gatling guns.

510.-You have iron shields, too?

A.-We don't depend on them. A rifle bullet would go through them as easily as anything. They got a lot of nets round the launch, but that does not stop the shot.

1

( 58 )

511.—You were armed with gatling guns?

A.-One. I generally used to work it myself. If you can get on the stern or

bow of a junk you can do a lot of execution with one of them.

512.-Who did the Kwashán belong to?

A.-The Salt Commissioner by rights.

We were not supposed to take anything

but salt, but if we got anything else we used to get our share of it. They used to charge so much to the Salt Commissioner for the use of the launch.

513.-You were not under Captain PALMER then?

A. Not when I was in the launch.

514.-Have you ever taken any junks in Hongkong waters?

A.-No.

515. Have you known of junks being specially armed for the purpose of smuggling?

A.-Not to my knowledge.

516.—What was the number of the crew generally on the junks, do you know?

A.-Some 20, some 30, some 15, some 40.

517.-You say. "We used to consider it a bad month unless we made 30 or 40 . seizures." Was that in the vicinity of Hongkong?

A.-Kapshuimún, East Lamma, Ch'éungchau, and all these places.

518.-Well, if that was the case, can you only refer to the two cases when there was

firing?

A. We generally fired in all cases.

519.-But can you refer to any cases in the vicinity of Hongkong where you had any fighting, but that one case in the Kapshuimún?

A.-No, only those two cases; that is all I can remember. 520.-Still you had thirty or forty seizures a month you say?

A. Yes.

521. What was your share in the seizures?

A.-It all depends on the markets.

522. -I think you said it was a third.

A. Yes, I think it was a third.

523. And your pay?

A.-First $50, and afterwards $60.

524.-Haikwan taels or dollars?

A.-No, Hongkong dollars.

525.-And in the case of salt seizures, how much went to the launch?

A.-About the same.

526.-You said before that the launch got half a share.

A.--Yes, the launch got half share, but. I generally got a third.

!

( 59 )

527. What do you mean?

A.--It was divided into so many shares.

528.-You say one half went to the launch and one half to the Commissioner?

A.-Yes, it was supposed to go to the launch.

529. But you got a third?

A.-Well, we were supposed to get a third. It all depends on the Commissioner of Customs at Canton and the markets.

530.-But that is not very clear. If half went to the launch did you get a third of the half or a third of the whole of the capture?

A.--A third of the half.

531.-How much did you make a month, including your salary? $240 you said,

I think?

A.-$150 or $200.

532.-You said before you have seized rice coming into the Colony, and that you have been offered bribes by junks to let rice pass?

A. Yes.

533.-What was the largest amount of opium you ever seized? 450 is what you gave to the Secretary.

A.--Close on that; about 450.

534. That was in the Kapshuimún?

A. Yes.

535. Had you any fight for that?

A.-No.

536.—That opium and cargo was forfeited?

A. Yes, boat and all.

537.— You also found some arms and ammunition under Chefoo beans you said before?

A.-Yes.

538.-Is not that the same you referred to a minute ago as Foochow beans?

A.-No; this was a different case.

539.-Then the only means you had of knowing a vessel was smuggling was infor- mation from runners from Hongkong or Macao?

A. Yes. They used generally to come out to us, and got a share as well. They come out in a sampan and point out the junk, and after we make the seizure we give them the prize tickets, and they go to Canton and receive their own money.

540.-Is there anything else about this you can tell us; anything that has not been asked you?

A.-No, only I know there are a good many junks that smuggle? here now going away from Hongkong.

( 60 )

541. It is not stated why you gave up this profitable business. Why did you leave?

A.-It was through small-pox. They made me pay all the expenses.

542.-Do you think these men on smuggling boats sometimes turn their hands to piracy?

#

A.-I have heard so; I don't know it. I have heard from my own crew that they do so sometimes. They chase one another, go on board cargo boats, take all their cargo, and, if the people resist, murder them.

543.—Have you ever heard of their collecting revenue?.

A.-No.

544.-Have you heard of a launch called the Lingching?

A. I have heard of her.

545.-Whom does she belong to?

A.-I don't know.

546.-Have you ever heard of her collecting revenue?

A.-No.

547.-Have you heard of her cruising?

A.-Not in my time.

548.-What do you know about her?

A.-I don't know anything about her.

549.—What was she doing when you knew her?

A. She was lying at different Stations.

550. What doing?

A. She was cruising.

551.-Cruising for whom?

A. For the Commissioner of Customs.

552.-I thought you did not know what she was.

A. She was a Cruiser; that is all I know.

553.-Was she commanded by a European?

A. She was at that time.

554. When was that?

A. Just shortly before I left the Kwashán, at the end of 1880.

555.-Who was in command?

A. A European. He is over at Macao at present.

556. What was his name?

A.-I don't know. There were three or four men who left the Victor Emanuel, who took over charge of launches.

557.-Did she fly the same flag as you?

A. Yes.

}

'

*

( 61 )

558. Had she any signals as to whom she was under, whether the Hoikwán or Salt Commissioner?

A.-No.

559.--Did she come in and anchor here?

A.-Never while I was here.

560.--Did you come in?

A. Yes.

561. And anchor where you liked?

A. Yes.

562.--And leave when you liked?

A-No, we did not leave when we liked, because they took good care to drive us out.

563.-Who?

A.-The Police.

564.-When you were in the

you were in the proper anchorage?

A. Yes, there too.

565.-But you have permission to be there?

A.--Well, they drive us out.

Hon. P. RYRIE.-Perhaps you were anchored in the Man-of-War anchorage.

566. Did you not come in and follow the junks out?

A.-No; we used to come in for stores and things of that kind, but never for information.

567.-Do you suppose the Lingching was not the Salt Commissioner's?

A.--I don't know.

568. Did you ever see any fight between the Pingchauhoi and any junks outside?

A.-No.

569.--You were going to tell us something about junks even at the present day?

A.—That

A. That is, taking salt from Hongkong. They generally come here and get 50 or 60 piculs of salt, and then go over to Yaumáti and take in 150 piculs or more, and then send out to some of the Cruisers and tell them they are going to fight their way through.

570. Did you ever see any of these fights?

A.-No; I have been lying in Kapshuimún when one of my own Chinese has got the chit, and has sent to me to assist him in case there should be anything of the kind, but they did not come; they went another way.

571.-Do you know the Lits'ap, Tsinghoi, Fits'ap, or Ts'apsai?

A.-No.

1

( 62 )

TABLE showing the TOTAL IMPORTATION into HONGKONG of OPIUM, during the last 19 Years,

and also into China through Foreign Customs.

(Extracted from the Customs Returns.)

:

IMPORTED IN FOREIGN VESSELS INTO CHINESE PORTS.

HONGKONG.

YEAR.

Malwa, Patna. Benares. Sorts. Total.

Value.

Total Import.

Value.

Excess over Entries at Treaty Ports.

Value.

1864,

piculs. piculs. | piculs. | piculs. | piculs.

29,998 16,412 5,063

taels.

piculs.

taels.

piculs.

taels.

610 52,083

20,233,200

1865,

27,488 17,823

9,601

1866,

35,385

1867,

34,006

19,076 9,172

14,809

11,488

1,221 56,133

883

645

25,821;180

76,523

34,996,680

20,390

9,175,500

64,516

34,838.640

81,350

42,582,240

16,834

7,743,600

HK. Tls.

HK. Tls.

HK. Tls.

60,948

28,823,942

86,530

39,655.924

25,582

10,831,982

1868,

31,234 | 12,315

9,179 1,187

53,915

23,538,621

69,537

29,871,864 15,622

6,333,243

1869,

29,284 13,990

8,771

1870,

34,045 14,443

8,671

1871,

35,050 15,281

1872,

37,803 15,473

7,039

1,368

1,658

8,023 1,316

878

53,413 23,727,165

58,817 21,967,196

59,670

86,065

38,223,238 32,652

14,496,073

95,045

40,328,764 36,228

15,361,568

26,045,878 89,744

40,690,974 30,074

14,645,095

61,193

25,295,131 86,385

34,704,689 25,192

9,409,558

1873,

1874,

43,706 17,422

1875,

38,696 15,420)

1876,

43,909 | 16,020

40,910 14,974° 9,326 587

7,916 800 69,844

62,949

69,851

65,797

1877,

1878,

1879,

40,139

1880,

37,005 | 18,588

21,151

32,892 16,504

7,521 1,312

8,618 1,304

41,705 | 15,237 | 10,822 2,415 70,179

12,373 4,458 72,424

16,279 5,482 83,051

17,297 4,961 71,654

26,255,295 88,382

28,564,782 91,082

25,355,065 84,619

28,018,944 96,985

30,257,812 94,200

32,262,957 94,899

36,536,617 107,970

32,467,697 22,585

6,212,402

33,175,559 21,238

29,106,923 21,670 7,454,480

36,491,288 27,134 10,202,384

32,303,963 24,021 8,231,196

37,470,465 22,475

41,479,892 24,919

7,730,632

8,870,133

9,573,376

32,344,628 96,839

42,823,721 25,185

11,137,201

1881,

36,481

1882,

17,996 18,067 6,530 79,074

29,336 15,379 15,017 5,977 65,709

37,592,208 98,556

26,746,297 85,565

41,691,567 •19,482

32,422,280 19,856

8,241,356

7,523,810

A

1

TABLE showing the quantity of the various kinds of OPIUM imported into HONGKONG

during the last six years.

YEAR.

MALWA.

PATNA.

BENARES.

SORTS.

TOTAL.

1877,

45,841

29,395

16,301

2,663

94,200

1878,

38,930

34,447

16,804

4,718

94,899

1879,

42,251

36,722

21,990

7,007

107,970

1880,

36,449

32,699

22,004

5,687

96,839

1881,

37,552

31,499

21,708

7,797

98,556

1882,

29,779

29,536

20,210

6,040

85,565

( 63 )

Return furnished by Messrs. D. Sassoon, Sons & Co., of Opium imported to China.

HONGKONG, 5th June, 1883.

DEAR SIR,

In reply to your communication of the 31st ulto., we beg to hand you enclosed a statement of the Import of Bengal drug into China from 1855 to 1872 and 1880 and 1881.

We also enclose you a statement of the Export of drug from Persia from 1871 to 1881, the bulk of which comes to China.

We are unable to furnish you with a statement of the Import of Malwa, as it goes principally to Shanghai, but have no doubt you could ascertain exact export statistics from the Custom House at Bombay, and all this description of drug comes to China.

We regret that we cannot give you any information as to the quantity of opium shipped to America and Manila, the fact of there not being any Custom House here renders it difficult to obtain proper statistics.

The Import of Turkey opium into China is very unimportant.

J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART, Esq.

We are, Dear Sir,

Yours faithfully,

DAVID SASSOON, SONS & Co.

STATEMENT of BENGAL OPIUM exported from CALCUTTA to CHINA in the undermentioned years.

1855, ....43,563 chests. 1860,..... 18,089 chests. 1865,......41,423 chests. 1870,......40,152 chests.

1856, ......35,342

1861,.....17,121

1866,41,570

1871,......41,744

>>

:>

""

>>

1857, 33,774

1858, ......28,980

1859, 23,043

1862,......22,922

""

""

1863,......31,607

1867,41,287

1868,.....38,498

1872,......37,056

""

>>

""

27

"

1880,......45,611

་་

1864,......39,706

1869,42,433

>>

""

""

1881,......44,124

EXPORTS of OPIUM from PERSIA during the undermentioned years. The bulk comes to CHINA.

1871 to 1872,..

870 chests.

1876 to 1877,.....

..2,570 chests.

1872

1873,

.1,400

1877

""

""

1878,.....

..4,730

>>

1873

""

1874,

.....2,000

1878

>>

>>

1879,...

...5,900

"

1874

""

1875,.

..2,030

1879

وو

>>

1880,.....

...6,100

*

1875

>>

1876,....

..1,890

1880

>>

>>

1881,....

..7,700

"

( 64 )

Extract.

COLLECTION OF FOREIGN DUTY ON OPIUM WITHIN THE COLONY,

ITS NATURE AND AMOUNT.

24th October, 1882.

Memorandum on the illegal collection of taxes on opium in Hongkong for the Chinese Government, their nature and amount, with observations on the proposals under Chefoo Convention.

At 109 Praya Central, Fuk Cheung Wo Hong, there is a Collectorate where "Ching Shui” or Regular Duty can be paid on opium intended to be imported into China.

!

At 70 Wing Lok Street, Fuk Cheung Hong, a tax called Hoifong can be paid; and at 120 Bonham Strand, there is a Collectorate of Lekin.

These Collectorates issue receipts, which are just as valid as those granted on the mainland of China, and at present the taxes collected are the same as those collected at Kapshuimún, the station at the entrance of the Canton River, and are much less than the taxes collected at Canton on opium taken in Foreign Bottoms.

The taxes now collected here, and at Kapshuimún, on opium shipped in junks, are, on Bengal opium (Patna and Benares) per chest of 40 balls:-

·

Hoppo's or Regular Tax,

Lekin,.....

Hoifong,...

On Malwa:-

Hoppo's duty,

Lekin,...... Hoifong,.

...Tls. 27.3.0

20.7.0

34.8.0

Total Tls. 82.8.0-$115,

.Tls. 24.0.0

17.2.5

34.0.0

Total Tls. 75.2.5=$104.51

Some time ago, the rates were higher than at present, Bengal paying taels 122 for 40 balls or chest, and Malwa paying taels 111.6.7.

Opium taken into Canton in Foreign Ships, pays at present:-

On Bengal opium (i.e. Patna and Benares) one chest 40 balls, 120 catties:--

Hoppo's Duty,

.Tls. 36.0.0

Lekin,

19.2.0

Nga T'ip,

8.0.0

Hoifong,

58.0:0

Difference in Sycee; Charity for poor and sick,

5.0.0

Total Tls. 126.2.0 $175.28

On Malwa, on 100 catties:-

Duty,.

Lekin,

Nga T'ip,

Hoifong,

.Tls. 30.0.0

16.0.0

7.0.0

56.6.6

5.0.0

Difference in Sycee, Charity for poor and sick,

Total Tls. 114.6.6-$159.25

J

"

}

A

( 65 )

For collecting here, the Fuk Cheung Wo Hong receives, for every hundred taels of silver collected, a commission of mace 6.5. The Lekin Collectorate receives a commission of mace 5.8. per taels 100, whilst the Hoifong Collectorate gets mace 4.8 per taels 100.

From a comparison of the above figures, it will be seen that opium, shipped in Native Bottoms, and paying duty either at Kapshuimún or here, is less heavily weighted by 25% in the case of Regular Duty and Lekin, and by 40% in the case of Hoifong than opium shipped in Foreign Bottoms to Canton. The extra charges called Nga Tip-"poor and sick," and "sycee difference," are also excluded. It is obvious therefore that little opium will be shipped from here (for Canton) in Foreign Bottoms. The absence of such shipment has been erroneously considered an evidence of smuggling from Hongkong, as has been shewn elsewhere.

The tax called Hoifong is a species of Lekin. It really covers two taxes, one a tax called Shuk Li, or the tax on opium for the privilege of boiling it, and the other a levy towards keeping up sea and river defences. As far as I can make out the Shuk Li tax was started in the 11th moon of the 6th year of Kwong Sü.-December 1880,-and was first farmed by a Canton man called Wong Tsun-ün. He paid to the Viceroy a sum of $400,000 for the privilege of collecting it for one year. Another tax was imposed later on called Hoifong. These two were lumped, and called by the general name of Hoifong, and the farming of them was sold by the Viceroy to Mr. Li Sing of the Wo Hang Hong of this Colony for a sum of $900,000 a year. Mr. Li Sing is said to have lost largely by the transaction, and given it up, and General Pang Yuk, called sometimes General and sometimes Admiral, is reported as seeing to the collection now.

It will be observed that this Hoifong is a very much heavier tax than the Lekin or War tax, properly so-called, the nature and origin of which were so fully described by Sir THOMAS WADE in his memorandum on the Revision of the Tientsin Treaty (see Blue Book China No. 5, 1871, page 442). But Lekin is not a fixed amount. In 1874 it was 15 taels a chest on opium at the Lekin Station at Ch'éungchau just out- side this Colony (see Complaint of Hongkong community C. 1628 of 1876 page 39). Now it is double that sum, to say nothing of Hoifong.

The right of the Chinese to levy the Lekin tax on opium has never been disputed, but Sir THOMAS WADE has been endeavouring for some years to induce them to fix a uniform rate at all the ports, and hence the Chefoo Convention proposed to collect the Lekin and Regular Customs' duty together; and Sir THOMAS WADE, although believing that the Lekin which the Chinese Government gathered did not amount on the average to 40 taels per picul, was nevertheless prepared to recommend the Indian Govern- ment to collect that sum for China on all Indian opium passing into China, such payment freeing however such opium from all charges of any sort inland or elsewhere. Hongkong would have had a certain allowance without duty or Lekin.

or Lekin. (Vide Command paper 2716, China No. 2, 1880, page 4). The Chinese Government replied that, independent of inland levies of Lekin, it would require a levy of 60 taels at the ports to make up for their present collection.

At page 5, H. M. Minister, in further discussing the question of Lekin, states that if the rates ruling at different ports were to be continued, he should require exact information as to the inland Collectorates, and the rates levied at each; but the Chinese Government evidently do not want to give that information. (See page 7 of China No. 2, 1880).

Finally it seems that Sir THOMAS WADE would be prepared to agree that opium should pay Lekin at the inland barriers beyond the first existing in 1876, and at the rates then prevailing, the first barrier rate being collected by the Foreign Inspectorate with regular duty. This is such a concession from his first position that he must have ascertained that the Lekin was small.

Sir ROBERT HART in a communication to the Tsung Li Yamen, (published in Command paper No. 1832, China No. 3, 1877, and entitled Proposals for the better regulation of Commercial relations), proposed that the Treaty Powers should consent that opium should pay an import duty of taels 120 per picul to the Maritime Customs on arrival at a Treaty Port, and that at a distance of 30 li=10 miles from the Custom House, it should be regarded as a Chinese commodity, and subject to local, territorial and special taxation, whenever, wherever, and with whomsoever found, and that no other charge shall be levied at the Port (see page 2, Imports).

The above proposals and discussions are certainly not without interest to the trade of this Colony, and a knowledge of the increased amount of opium dues now collected by the Canton authorities might prove useful to the Home authorities and to the Indian Government, especially as that Government has

( 66 )

lately called attention to the undesirability of the Chinese Government largely enhancing the Import duty on Indian opium, and more especially because recent observations show that the market for Indian' opium will be confined for the most part to the South of China.

The next question is, the existence of these local Collectorates being shewn, whether the Government should take immediate notice of the levy.

There is little doubt but that the system is not of yesterday. It was found out, and stopped by Sir R. G. MACDONNELL, during his Government. It is clearly contrary to international law, (see Lord CLARENDON's despatch, Revision of Tientsin Treaty, China, 1871, page 400), and the Canton authorities know it-see Sir BROOKE ROBERTSON's representation to the Canton Government, (Command paper 1189 of 1875, page 36), where he told the Viceroy "that the collection of Imperial duties in the Colony was against the law."

Nevertheless the Hongkong traders say it is a matter of convenience to them to pay duties here, which they would have to pay at the Kapshuimún Station, a distance of 7 miles, and where there is often trouble about the tender. They also say that they can clear their opium for any place along the Coast North or South, without going to Kapshuimún. Besides being contrary to international usage, a system of espionage, is established, which places the Chinese residents of the Colony very much in the power of the Canton Officials, a power which may be used often to their disadvantage. Otherwise than the principle involved and the drawbacks to some Chinese residents, I am not sure that there is much to be objected to in the collection, and the convenience to many is obvious.

*

*

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*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

In 1868 Sir THOMAS WADE said that "by the contraband trade of junks frequenting Hongkong "and Macao, the Customs Revenue is defrauded in import and export duties little less than 1,000,000 taels "per annum." Revision of Tientsin Treaty China No. 5, 1871, page 460.

""

I

The Governor states that "the Hongkong Government gets at present $205,000 per annum from "the Opium Farm, which is practically levying an ad valorem tax on it of more than 100 per cent. to the

consumers," and that he agrees "with Sir THOMAS WADE that by the opium smuggling from Hongkong (?) "into China, the Government of China loses at least a million of taels of revenue per annum." (See H. M. Colonial possessions C. 3094 of 1881).

Putting aside the disparity in the Estimates of the amount of smuggling, there can be no doubt but the geographical position of the island does afford a basis of operations for smuggling, and that a considerable amount does exist. The undersigned, however, ventures with all respect to point out that a comparison of the figures given by Sir THOMAS WADE, on page 3 of Command paper 2,716, China No. 2 (1880) shows that not more than 3,357 piculs of opium (leaving out Macao which takes up a large quantity) can be smuggled into China from Hongkong. The revenue on that, in 1876, would have been less than $300,000. In 1875 there were left at Hongkong 21,670 piculs of the whole import. In the financial year 1875-1876 the Hoppo admitted collecting duty on what Sir THOMAS WADE estimates as piculs 10,813, of that amount Sir THOMAS WADE also allows 7,500 piculs for Hongkong boiling, for export and local use, (and export elsewhere than to China in the raw state) whilst the Governor's figures would lead to the conclusion that only 310 chests were boiled or prepared here. His Excellency states that the payment of the tax by the Opium Farmer of $205,000 is an ad valorem tax of more than 100 per cent. i.e., the value of the opium used is at the most $205,000, or equal about to 340 piculs. The capital of the last Company was $1,400,000, and as a first return, Shareholders got 12 per cent. interest on the capital.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

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*

*

*

24th October, 1882.

*

*

(Signed)

J. RUSSELL,

Colonial Treasurer and Registrar General.

( 67 )

TRANSLATION OF A RETURN BY MR. WONG, A COMPRADORE, SHEWING THE

DUTIES PAID ON OPIUM SINCE 1858, IN ITS IMPORT TO

SOUTH CHINA FROM HONGKONG.

In 1858.

Hoppo's or Regular tax:—

In 1859.

On Bengal opium, (Patna and Benares),

.Tls. 15.0.0 a chest,

and Malwa, difference in Sycee and weight additional, ...Tls. 12.5.0 a picul.

Hoppo's or Regular tax:-

On Malwa,

On Bengal,

Lekin farmed by P'ung Fat-tsai:-

In 1860.

On Malwa,

On Bengal,

Hoppo's or Regular tax:--

On Malwa,

.Tls. 30.0.0 per picul.

..Tls. 30.0.0 per picul of 100 catties.

.Tls. 0.7.2 per 3 catties.

.Tls. 24.0.0 per picul.

.Tls. 30.0.0 per picul.

On Bengal, difference in Sycee and weights additional,... Tls. 30.0.0 per picul.

Lekin farmed by Chéung Shun:-

On Malwa,

Tls. 41.6.7 per picul.

In 1861.

On Bengal,

Lekin collected by Government officials:-

In 1862.

On Malwa,

On Bengal,

Nga Tip paid by opium merchants,

Hoppo's or Regular tax:--

On Malwa,

Tls. 16.0.0 per 100 catties.

.Tls. 30,000.

On Bengal, Sycee and difference in weight additional,...Tls. 30.0.0 per picul.

Lekin,

Nga T'ip,........

....Tls. 30.0.0 per picul.

TIs. 16.0.0 per picul.

...Tls. 7.0.0.

From this date the taxes are collected by Government.

Hoppo's or Regular tax:-

On Malwa,....

.Tls. 30.0.0 per picul.

On Bengal, difference in Sycee and weights additional,...Tls. 30.0.0 per picul.

Lekin and Nga Tip:-

On Malwa,

On Bengal,....

Duty on opium passing the West Fort, for shipment

to Kwangsui and North River,

(The above rates existed for several years).

In 1878.

Tax additional on Prepared opium, .... (This was not for long, nor general).

.Tls. 23.0.0 per picul.

...Tls. 23.0.0 per picul.

Tls. 3.3.3 per picul.

....0.0.3 per tael.

( 68 )

In 1879.

Hoifong tax-(Harbour and Coast defence started this year) for the Viceroy.

On Malwa,

'On Bengal,

Tax on Prepared opium,

Hoppo's tax:-A regular tax.

On Malwa, .....

On Bengal,

Difference of Sycee and weights,

Lekin and Nga Tip:-War tax or Viceroy's.

On Malwa,

On Bengal,

......Tls. 30.0.0 per picul.

Tls. 0.7.5 per ball. .Remitted.

.Tls. 30.0.0 per picul. .Tls. 30.0.0 per picul.

..Tls. 4.0.0.

.Tls. 23.0.0 per picul.

....Tls. 23.0.0 per picul.

(In the 8th and 9th moons of this year, there was a reduction in the Hoifong tax of 25 Tls. 22.5 were levied on a chest).

In 1880.

The tax on prepared opium was again levied, it was levied from the same opium shops.

In 1881.

Hoppo's or Regular tax,

Lekin and Nga Tip,

Hoifong Tax,

Tax on Prepared opium,

As before in 1879. ....As before in 1879. .........................Tls. 25.0.0 a picul. ..Tls. 23.3.3 a picul.

per cent.

In the winter of this year a reduction of 6 per cent. was made in the Hoi-fong and Prepared Opium Taxes, the two together only amounting to 34.8 taels.

In 1881.

Hoppo's or Regular tax,

Lekin and Nga Tip,

...As before in 1879.

..As before in 1879.

Duties levied at the Kapshuimún, Fatt'auchau and Ch'éungchau Stations.

25 per cent. less than tax at Canton:-

Hoppo's tax, on Bengal,

Lekin and Nga Tip,

40 per cent. less than ordinary tax at Canton:--

Hoi-fong and Prepared Opium Tax,

25 per cent. less than ordinary tax at Canton:-

On Malwa, Regular tax,

Lekin and Nga T'ip,

Tls. 22.7.5 a picul. ..Tls. 17.2.5 a picul.

.Tls. 34.8.0.

.......0.2.4 a catty.

0.7.2 a packet.

..0.1.2.2 a catty.

{

40 per cent. less than ordinary tax:----

In 1882.

Hoifong and Prepared Opium Tax,

All levies made by officials in the 5th and 6th moons.

Hoppo's or Regular tax,

Lekin and Nga Tip,

0.5.1.7 a packet.

....0.3.4.0 a catty.

1.0.2.0 a packet.

........As before.

....................As before.

For Oi-yuk T'ong,

Hoifong and tax on prepared opium,

....0.0.3 a ball.

...34.8.0.

40

per

cent. less:

Customs at West Fort,

.........As above.

Retail tax:-

On Bengal,

On Malwa,

.0.1.0 a ball.

....0.1.0 3 catties.

4

( 69 )

Statement handed in by Mr. Ng, as to Salt tax in China.

(1.) The weight of each bag of Salt imported to Canton is 220 catties, the duty charged per bag is 12 mace. (2.) The price of salt imported from Quinhon, Saigon, Poon-Chit and Mun-Tong to Hongkong is 350 to 400 catties per dollar, and that imported from Tin-pak, Kammún and Shánmi to Hongkong is about 300 catties per dollar.

(3.) The total quantity of salt imported from the above-mentioned places in a year is estimated at about

2 millions piculs.

(4.) All godowns for storing Salt are at Yaumáti, and it is sold to Hongkong Customers at 260 catties

per dollar.

(5.) It is sold at Canton at about $1.20 for 100 catties.

(6.) The market price now sold at Hongkong is considered as very moderate.

28th August, 1883.

ESTABLISHMENT OF A SALT DEPÔT IN THE CENTRE OF THE COLONY FOR ISSUING LICENCES AND COLLECTING DUES FROM HONGKONG FISHERMEN, seizure OF FISH BY TWO CRUISERS OF A SALT FARMER, THE FISH

BROUGHT BY THE CRUISERS TO THE COLONY.

The Registrar General to Colonial Secretary.

F

No. 22.

SIR,

REGISTRAR GENERAL'S OFFICE,

HONGKONG, 26th April, 1883.

I have the honour to forward a Petition from two fishermen of Sháukiwán, Masters of Licensed Fishing Junks, Nos. — and, who complain of having had their fish taken from them by a Cruiser in the employ of the Yanwot'ong, No. 167, Praya West.

From information given me yesterday by the Master of a Fish Lán who has been 43 years in this Colony, I gather that, before and since Hongkong was a British Colony, all junks engaged in the salt- fish trade here have had to take out Permits from the Salt Farmer, who obtains his monopoly from the Salt Commissioner of the Two Kwang. Formerly, these Permits were issued at Nam T'au, and at a branch establishment on the neighbouring island of Ch'éungchau. At the Chinese New Year this Ch'éungchau branch was removed to No. 167, Praya West, where, under the designation of the Yanwot'ong, it issues Permits to Hongkong Licensed Junks to salt fish on the high seas.

"

The price paid for the Permits varies with the quantity of salt to be used by the fishermen. I enclose a fac-simile (seals excepted) of the Permit issued to Petitioner-

who had to pay $2.75 for it. When he used to get his annual Permit at Ch'éungchau he had to pay but $2 for it. am unable to enclose the original, because the poor man cannot earn his living without it; but I had it in my possession for some hours, and I certify that the enclosed is, as already stated, an exact copy.

I am not aware whether the Yanwot'ong have heard of Petitioner being at this Office; but, yesterday, they made, I am told, an offer to restore the fish. When Petitioners went for their property, it was refused under the pretext that the Master had gone to Canton. This morning, however, the offer was renewed, accompanied with a promise of compensation for deterioration, the fish having been placed in the Yanwot'ong before they were properly cured.

Supposing then that my information is correct, and I see no reason to doubt it, the state of things is simply this, that every fishing junk belonging to the Colony has to take out a Permit from the Chinese Government to salt the fish it takes on the high seas, and this Permit has to be obtained at a Chinese Revenue Office on the Praya in Hongkong.

(Signed)

FREDERICK STEWART, Registrar General.

The Honourable W. H. MARSH, C.M.G.,

Colonial Secretary,

&c.

&c.,

&c.

( 70 )

Petition from Chán Tsoi-li and Keung Hing-li.

To the Honourable,

THE REGISTRAR GENERAL.

CHÁN TSOI-LI and KEUNG HING-LI respectively of fishing junks Nos.

and at Shau-ki Wan present a petition praying that an enquiry may be made into a case in which they have been robbed.

On the 15th of this moon about 3 P.M., (21st April, 1883), while Petitioners, who have for a long time been earning their livelihood by fishing, were sailing their junks on the waters of Kwo-chau, they encountered a Cruiser belonging to the Yanwot'ong Salt Farm, Hongkong. At the request of the men on board this Cruiser, Petitioners produced their Salt certificates, but they said the certificates could not be passed, and forcibly robbed Petitioners of more than ten piculs of fish,* all the fish they had on

•board their junks. Petitioners dared not offer any resistance, and allowed them to take away the fish. Immediately afterwards, Petitioners returned to Hongkong, and went and asked the Yanwot'ong Salt Farm No. 167, Praya West, why their Salt certificates were not passed, and why the men on board the said Cruiser robbed them of their fish. The sellers of Salt certificates said that the Cruiser belonged to them, but they must find out what quantity of fish had been taken before they could settle the matter. They neither gave a definite answer nor undertook to recover the same for. Petitioners at once. Having bought Salt certificates with which they proceed to sea to catch fish, Petitioners consider that all cruisers belonging to the Salt Farm should allow them to pass after the certificates have been produced and examined. Why should the men on board the said Cruiser, in the present case, refuse to pass their certificates and rob them of their fish? Petitioners feel aggrieved at this, and therefore implore Your Honour to issue a warrant for the arrest of the Yanwot'ong, and recover the fish for them.

(Paper attached).

CHÁN TSOI-LI'S Salt certificates having been seized by Cruiser No. 1, it is necessary to wait till the return of the said Cruiser, (to the Colony) when the things (taken from him) will be returned.

Dated 16th day, 3rd moon, 9th year of Kwong Sü (22nd April, 1883).

Seal

of

Pün Kün San On

Salt Farm.

:

* Nearly 12 cwt.

The Registrar General to Colonial Secretary.

(Copy.) No. 30.

SIR,

REGISTRAR GENERAL'S OFFICE,

HONGKONG, 9th May, 1883.

Mr.

- Mr.

In continuation of my letter No. 22 of the 16th ultimo, (C.S.O. No. 1052.). I have the honour to enclose statements made to me by. Mr.

and Inspector CAMERON regarding the Branch Office of the Chinese Salt Farm in this Colony, that goes by the name of the Yanwot'ong, at No. 167, Praya West.

These statements, together with the Licence which was obtained by CHEUNG, clearly prove the existence of the establishment and the nature of its operations.

The information now obtained may be of use to the Commission on Smuggling.

The Honourable W. H. MARSH, C.M.G.,

Colonial Secretary.

I have, &c.,

(Signed)

FREDERICK STEWART,

Registrar General.

1

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(Copy.)

( 71 )

Statement by a Chinese.

I have had the shop over 20 years. The two Permits to fishermen which I produce were obtained by my shop early this year. They were got from the Yanwot'ong, No. 167, Praya West. A man called Cheng is the master. It was established this. year. It is a Salt Farm. Fishermen belonging to Hongkong must get such Permits before they can salt fish. Each Permit costs 1 tael 9m. 8 can. = $2.75. The Permit holds good for a year and it costs the same sum at whatever period of the year it is issued. The Yanwot'ong has 2 Cruisers. They are not steamers. They give notice to the fishermen that they must get permits. Formerly they were issued at Nam T'au by the Pang Shing Farm. The Yanwot'ong is a branch of the Farm. The branch was formerly at Ch'éungchau,* but it is now removed to Hongkong. The Salt Commissioner of the two Kwang superintends the whole Salt Revenue, but he farms it out to a farmer. This practice of issuing Permits has gone on for many years. I have been 43 years in Hongkong and this practice has prevailed all this time. No fishing junks connected with the Colony can go beyond the limits of the harbour to catch and salt fish without a permit. The catching of fresh fish is not interfered with. There are only 2 Cruisers. Both are armed. One is large. The other is smaller. They sometimes anchor off the Parade Ground and sometimes off Yaumáti. The lowest Permit is for 100 catties of salt at any 'one time; but permits can be obtained for any quantity at a proportionately increased cost. Permits are sometimes issued for half a year, or for any short period, but generally they are issued for one year.

The Permits cost more this year, Last year, a Permit for 100 catties of salt cost $2. This year it costs $2.75.

The staff of the Yan Wo consists of 4 or 5 clerks. I have no idea of the amount of money they take in a month.

25th April, 1883.

(Signed) F. STEWART.

LI CHI-SHANG, Manager of the Yannot'ong, No. 167, Praya West.

My firm trades with Shanghai in mat-bags, sandal wood and sundries. It has been in Hongkong since the fourth moon of last year. The San On Salt Farmer is my friend. For the convenience of boats and to oblige the Farmer, I sometimes issue Permits, and collect the money, I do not know the Farmer's name. It is my friend Pün, living in Canton, who knows him; and it is through Mr. Pün that I do what I do, to oblige the Farmer. I believe the Farmer lives at Nám T'au. It may be that licences are, or were issued at Ch'éungchau, I am not sure. I know licences are issued at Nám T'au. I know nothing of the two fishermen who presented a Petition about their fish. The fish was never stored in the Yanwot'ong. I do not know why fishing junks connected with Hongkong should pay taxes to Chinese Government. I am only acting as a friend.

1st May, 1883.

(Signed) F. STEWART.

Statement of a Chinese dealer.

The master of the Yanwot'ong is Chêng Tsun-téng. He left the Yanwot'ong the day I was here (25th April). He is now living either in the U Wo Mat Shop, or the U Tak Shing carpenter's Shop. No permits are being issued for the present, but I believe they will resume when they think this has blown over. The Yanwot'ong does no business except the issuing of Permits. About 20 have been obtained by my shop from the Yanwot'ong since the Chinese New Year. My shop used to get Permits for fishermen from Ch'éungchau.

* Ch'éungchau is the Chinese Revenue Station at the West entrance of the Harbour.

( 72 )

The two fishermen from Sháukiwán who presented the Petition did not get back their fish lest it should form proof against the Yanwot'ong, but they got $40 in money.

Lately I have heard that one of the cruisers took away a boat's nets, and a girl from another boat. They took also from a third boat about 21 piculs of salt. The salt was sold at Yaumáti. I do not know the names of those three junks, but I will enquire and let you know. When the change was made from Ch'éungchau to Hongkong, the Yanwot'ong people went about among the Lans and gave information. Besides the master Chêng Tsun-teng there are three clerks. They have large quantities of Permit forms in boxes. These have been removed from the shop for the present. If you suspect my statements it will be very easy to get the master of a junk, say at Stanley or at Aberdeen, to get a Permit if you supply

the

money.

I have been informed that the Mandarin at Po-táu Chau has beaten some of the men on board those salt cruisers for robbing people.

[Asked how it came that no report has been made before, states]. No one dares. Even I am afraid of getting into trouble, if it gets known that I am giving information.

1st May, 1883.

master of the

(Signed)

F. STEWART.

Lan, Salt Fish Street.

}

I have been in Hongkong 25 years, I know that Permits from the San On Salt Farmer have been issued in this Colony to fishing junks belonging to this Colony for the last ten years. Formerly, it was done very secretly. Permits were sent here from Ch'éungchau, and the Agent occupied the upper floor of a house, changing his residence frequently to prevent detection. He sent men round to the Lans and jurks to let people know where he was to be found. I know the Yanwot'ong was established here at the end of last Chinese year. Several Permits have been obtained from it by my shop. I do not know the head man or any of his subordinates.

The sum paid for Permits varies with the size of the junk and the quantity of salt used. They are dearer this year than they were formerly. One that cost $2 last year costs $2.75 this year. The reason given is, that the Farmer has to pay a higher sum than formerly to the Salt Commissioner. The Salt Farmer lives in Nam T'au. I do not know him. Permits are issued at Nam T'au, Ch'éungchau, and Hongkong. There are two armed Cruisers for the San On District. If they find a fishing junk without a licence they impose a fine of from $100 to $200, and confiscate the junk.

I heard about the two Sháukiwán fishermen who had their fish taken away by a cruiser. I do not know how the matter was settled. I have not heard of the taking away of a girl or of the taking away of a junk's nets.

(Asked how it comes that this issuing of Permits in Hongkong, to Hongkong licensed junks, has been going on so long without any complaint, states). The Cruisers are so powerful that fishermen are afraid to complain, and are too glad to be let alone by paying the fee for the Permit.

The Cruisers frequent this Harbour.

2nd May, 1883.

(Signed)

F. STEWART.

+

4

(Copy.)

SIR,

Inspector Cameron to Registrar General.

YAUMÁTI, 7th May, 1883.

named-

I have the honour to inform you that on Saturday the 5th instant, I sent a man, to the Yanwot'ong, No. 167, Praya West, with instructions, to purchase the paper that I handed to you on the above date. Before obtaining the paper several questions were asked him as to who he was and

( 73 )

from where he came; to which he replied that he belonged to a fishing junk anchored off Yaumáti. The paper was then made out for which he had to pay $5.08. He was instructed by the man who handed him the paper that if any of the European Officers (referring to the Harbour Officers) asked for his papers, he was not to show the one issued from the Yanwot'ong. The Yanwot'ong is a house of three stories, but there does not seem to be any other business carried on than the issuing of the papers referred to.

The Honourable F. STEWART, LL.D..

Registrar General.

I have, &c.,

(Signed)

J. B. CAMERON,

Inspector of Police.

FISHERMAN'S CERTIFICATE.

No. 69, Character Shui.

"

Salt Commissioner of the Two Kwang, in the matter of issuing sealed permits in order to facilitate enquiry and inspection as well as to encourage the sale of Government Salt. By order of NGOK, a former Governor, certificates registered under certain characters, numbered and with counterfoils were instituted and granted to the (Salt) Farmer, so that he might supply fishermen with them, who could fill in the quantity of Government Salt they purchased, and thus a distinction would be drawn between Government and smuggled salt, and enquiry and inspection would be facilitated. Whereas

fisherman, has purchased from the San On (Salt) Farm, 100 catties of Government Salt wherewith to salt fish on the open seas, he is now permitted to catch fish within the waters of this jurisdiction, the limits of which he must not exceed. In the event of his doing so, he will be punished. All military guard stations he may happen to come across will allow him to pass on examination of his certificate. If any one should smuggle salt or attempt to pass counterfeit certificates, he will be arrested forthwith, and brought to trial.

Dated 10th day, 1st moon, 9th year of Kwong Sü. (17th February, 1883).

To keep a small junk. This certificate expires on the 10th day of the 12th moon of this year (7th January, 1884) after which time it will be invalid. No. 69 character Shui.

Seal of the

Salt Commissioner

Seal of

Pün Kün

San On Salt Farm.

Seal of the

Salt Commissioner

of the two Kwang.

of the two Kwang.

Pun Fuk-shing

T'ong-to-ki

San On Farm.

Be Icareful.

1879.

Aug. 14. (H&P) CS.O. 2227.

C.S.O. 2239.

Nov. 13. (P) C.S.O. 2976.

Dec. 11. (P) C.S.O. 3199.

Dec. 13. (H)

C.S.O. 3217.

Dec. 15. (H) C.S.O. 3238.

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PRECIS OF CASES RELATING TO SEIZURES BY CHINESE CUSTOMS CRUISERS OF JUNKS IN HONGKONG WATERS FROM AUGUST, 1879, TO JUNE, 1880.

Drawn up by Acting Colonial Secretary in 1880.

[P-reported by Police. H-reported by Harbour Department.]

Junks Wing Yin and Fat On.

The Hongkong Police say they were boarded in British Waters. The Chinese authorities deny this.

Two Junks unknown.

Seizure reported as seen by Inspector Mackie at Stanley. Acting Harbour Master reported that the places pointed out by the Inspector were in British waters. No complaint made in this case.

Junk Kam Hop Fát.

Complaint made that she was boarded by a Customs Launch at the mouth of Aberdeen Harbour, and towed towards Little Hongkong. Opium, satin, &c., removed from the Junk. The Chinese authorities

denied the seizure.

Salt Junk Kwang Li.

Reported as seized by a Chinese Cruiser in British waters. was in British waters. Papers sent to Consul.

Harbour Master reports that the seizure

Particulars taken from Register. C.S.O. 3217 not on file.

Junk Hop Li.

1880.

Jan. 5. (H) C.S.O. 30. C.S.O. 1135.

Complaint made that she was seized in British waters. Papers sent to the British Consul at Canton. The Chinese authorities replied that it was a breach of the Treaty to clear a salt-laden junk bound for the

mainland.

Particulars taken from Register. C.S.O. 3238 not on file.

Junk Kam Hip Fat.

Complaint made of seizure in British waters. Harbour Master reports that she was seized in British waters. Papers sent to Consul. The Chinese authorities deny that any seizure was made.

Ap. 20 (H) C.S.O. 947.

Ap. 21. (P&H)

C.S.O. 960

C.S.O. 961.

May 16. (P) C.S.O. 1183.

May 29-31. (P & H) CS.O. 1261.

C.S.O. 1499,

Junks 67 and 804.

Reported as having been boarded in British waters. Papers sent to Consul.

C.S.O. 947 not on file.

Junk unknown.

Customs Launch seizes a junk 700 yards South East of Cape d'Aguilar. No exact information as to junk obtained. A letter is sent to H.B.M. Consul, Canton.

Boat seized in Harbour. Six men of the Cruiser Liching convicted at the Supreme Court..

C.S.O. No. 1183 not on file.

Junk Tak Shing Li.

Boarded by the Li Ts'ap in British waters. H.B.M. Consul, Canton, is informed. The Viceroy says the Li Ts'ap is not a Government vessel, but the property of "a trader who has undertaken the monopoly of the Opium Coast Defence Tax."

C.S.O. 1261 not on file.

1

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PRECIS OF CASES REPORTED TO HARBOUR DEPARTMENT,

FROM AUGUST, 1879, TO JUNE, 1880.

No.

Date.

Precis of Contents.

189 C.S.O. 2239

C.S.O. 2976

1879. Aug. 14

Junks Wing Yin and Fat On.- Reporting the boarding of, by a Customs Cruiser in British waters. Harbour Master of opinion that Master of junk's story is true.

Nov. 13 Forwarding Report from Inspector MACKIE of Stanley as to why he thinks a certain Cruiser seized a certain junk in British waters. Not sufficient

C.S.O. 3217 Dec. 13

C.S.0.3238 Dec. 15

3

1880. Jan. 5

77

$8

102 C.S.O. 1261

evidence.

Petition to recover the Kwong Li, Salt Junk, alleged to have been seized by a Chinese Cruiser in British waters. Place pointed out by junk Master is in British waters.

Petition to reclaim the Hop Li, Salt Junk, seized by a Revenue Cruiser in

British waters. Captured in Victoria Harbour.

Junk Kam Hip Fat.-Alleged seizure of 20 balls opium, &c., by a Chinese Cruiser in British waters. Forwarding Minutes of evidence of M. M. Case No. 136, and a Report of Enquiry. The Master of Kam Hip Fat was charged with leaving the waters of the Colony between the hours of 6 P.M. and 6 A.M. without a Night Clearance, contrary to Section XIV of Ord. 6 of 1866. Case dismissed for want of evidence.

April 20 Licensed Fishing Junks, Nos. 804 and 67.-Reporting the boarding of, by the Chinese Cruiser in British waters. Place pointed out by junk Master in waters of Colony.

April 21 Forwarding Telegram from Cape d'Aguilar reporting supposed seizure of a junk by a Chinese Customs' Launch in British waters. Nothing further heard of this.

May 31

Junk Tak Shing Li.-Reporting the boarding of, by a Chinese Cruiser in

British waters. The Master of the junk was charged,-

(1.) With furnishing untrue particulars of his junk at Sháukiwán

Harbour Office; and

(2.) With using his Clearance for another purpose than that for which it was obtained at Sháukiwán Harbour Station on the 26th May, 1880, contrary to Section XX of Ord. 6 of 1866. Sentenced to 24 hours' imprisonment with hard labour, and junk and cargo to be forfeited. (M. M. Case No. 34).

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NOTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN AT THE SUPREME COURT OF HONGKONG, IN THE CASE OF

REGINA 2. CHAN A LI, LAM A WONG and LI A KUK, charged with Piracy.

Criminal Sessions, January 1883.

Before Sir G. PHILLIPPO, Chief Justice and a Jury.

Attorney General for prosecution.

Mr. FRANCIS for prisoners.

Plea not guilty.

24th January, 1883.

CHEUNG A SI, master of Kum Hop Hing Junk, a little more than 400 piculs capa- city. At end of November or beginning of December I engaged my junk to take cargo for Choy Heung Chai from Nam Pak Hong. It was to be taken from here to Swatow. He has two names. I loaded a cargo of saltpetre for him on 25th day, 9th moon (5th November), 62 piculs 124 bags. It was on the afternoon of the 5th. I took 5 bags of rice on board. I started on 6th November, at 8 o'clock and arrived at Lápsápwán at 10 o'clock. There was very little wind. When off Lápsápwán a steam launch which had followed after us came alongside and the three prisoners came on board armed with guns. They took away rice, money, $10 and 5 10-cent pieces and a blanket, They did not use any violence to me, but hit one of my fellow workmen and we were driven down to the hold and were confined there. They were armed with swords., They took 5 bags of rice and all the saltpetre. There were 7 men including myself. I only saw the 3 prisoners before I was driven to the hold. I recognized the 3 prisoners. They had lamps and were searching for goods and money. They were armed with swords and waving them and told me not to resist. I recognize the 3 of them very well. After that they had removed the goods they went away, and then we sailed back to Hongkong Praya West. Next morning I was on the Praya. I saw some saltpetre there and I saw some guns there, and the three prisoners removing them into a shop, ́ and when they saw me they ran away, I called for Constables to arrest them. A Con- stable arrested the 3 prisoners. The 1st and 3rd were arrested first, and the 2nd on board the cargo boat. He was running away.

He was running away. The cargo boat was at the Praya. The 2nd prisoner ran away into the cargo boat and the Constable arrested him there, Saltpetre was in the cargo boat. I could not say how many bags.

Examined by Mr. FRANCIS:-My junk. belongs to Soochow district--Yau King district. I came to Hongkong in the beginning of the 8th moon (middle of October). I have never been in Hongkong before. My junk is an old junk. I handed my clearance paper to an Officer when the prisoner was arrested. (Clearance put in of the junk Hop-fat). My name is CHEUNG-A-SI. The information was given by one of my fellows. That is my clearance. The name is HOP HING not HOP FAT. I did not get out the clear- ance. I am the master of the junk. LUM SING is a partner of mine, we both own the junk, he used to manage the junk, but on this occasion he did not come to Hongkong. It must have been a mistake. The junk was a little over 400 piculs; clearance has 600 piculs, junk is a little over 500 piculs, but she did not usually carry more than 400 piculs. A boatman named LUM took out the clearance. I was first spoken to about taking saltpetre to Swatow on the 4th November, and it was sent on board on the 5th about midday. I took out the clearance on 1st November. We remained at Yaumáti on account of a head·

77)

wind. The wind was blowing from the West on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th, very strong wind; could not possibly sail. Wind was from East not West. It was very strong. On 5th November we went over to Yaumáti and anchored quite close to the shore between 30 and 40 fathoms. I did not return the papers to the Harbour Master's Office. I am not aware of the custom. I am a stranger here. We managed to get over to Yaumáti. I was not aware I had to return the paper on the 4th. I arranged to take the cargo of saltpetre. I did not know I was to get a clearance. I don't know that the Chinese Government forbid carrying saltpetre along the coast. I never carried any before. I took the saltpetre in front of the Nam-pak Hong after midday meal on 5th November. When I got to Yaumáti I did not deposit papers and get anchorage pass. I left at 8 P.M. 26th, 9th moon (6th November), it was not a moonlight night. When I arrived at Yaumáti, it was very dark. It was dark when I left Hongkong, on board of the junk it was after or about sunset. I got no authority from the Harbour Master's Office to leave after dark. I got no night pass at Yaumáti. I left Yaumáti on the 6th, it was a N.W. wind, we sail the junk according to the tide not according to the wind. Sometimes the tide goes through Liümún. The tide was running the other way when we sailed. I have never heard of Customs Cruisers or officers. I do not know the Customs Stations. I never heard I was to report myself when I left Hongkong. It was about 10 o'clock when I was boarded, before or after. I do not know distance in li between Yaumáti and Lápsápwán. I heard the place called Lápsápwán after daylight. I got back into Hongkong harbour about 12 at night, we anchored near the pig lans. It took to get from where we were boarded to where we anchored about 2 hours, wind was still N.W. There were 7 people on board, no women or children, all grown men. I made no report that night. I was going to make a report when I saw the thieves, and called a Constable and arrested them. I did not report my junk, it was dark and I did not report it afterwards because the thieves were arrested. I had no share in the salt- petre, it belonged to NEUNG CHYE, his other name is CHOY HEUNG CHONG. I do not know what hong the saltpetre came from. It was brought to my junk by cargo boats. gave evidence at the Police Court. I said it was on the 5th I was engaged. I did not it was on the 6th. I told the Magistrate that money was taken from me, passage read "rice, &c., $10.50." I said $10.50 in money besides rice, jackets, and

guns. I told the Magistrate I saw 2nd prisoner on board my junk, when the saltpetre was taken away the whole 3 of them were there. I saw them. 2nd prisoner was arrested on board the cargo boat. I said to the Magistrate it was on the 4th I went to Yaumáti and anchored there. I did not say it was on 4th, somebody else said so, my name is CHEUNG Magistrate took it down as SHEUNG. Depositions read.

I

say

I did not say I went to Yaumáti on the 4th. It was not on the 31st October NEUNG CHYE engaged me to take the saltpetre. It was on the 4th November and the cargo was put on board on the 5th. I went to Yaumáti because the wind was very strong and I was afraid of losing my anchor. We were driven down to Yaumáti. I did not take saltpetre on board at Yaumáti. It was off the Nam-pak Hong in daylight.

CHOY HUNG CHEONG, called states:-My name is CHOY HING CHOW, trader, Bonham Strand. At end of October or beginning of November I engaged last witness' junk I first talked with him on the 4th November. On 1st November, I met him at Bonham Strand. On the 4th I asked him if he would take a cargo to Swatow and at what rate. He accepted afterwards. He loaded saltpetre on the 5th after the midday meal. The

t

t

L

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junk was in front of the Nam-pak Hong. He took the junk over to Yaumáti and on evening of 6th set sail for Swatow about 8 o'clock. We got off Lápsápwán about 10 o'clock. There was no wind and we were making very little progress. At Lápsáp- wán a steam launch followed after us, came alongside the junk, lowered a sampan and some men came on board the junk with swords, guns, and muskets. I only saw 3 armed. The prisoners are the men. I recognize all. The 3rd prisoner took a bundle

of

my clothes, he had a revolver in his waist and a sword in his hand, he took $47 in silver and a pair of shoes. I did not know 3rd prisoner before. I was in the hold: We were in the hold about an hour. I mean by the hold, in the cabin. Saltpetre was in the forehold and some in the after hold. I was a passenger. I don't know how long I was in the cabin. I saw the 3 prisoners go into the hold and take my things. I could see from the cabin. I only saw the 3 prisoners they threatened to kill me and drove me into the hold, I was standing outside of the cabin and they drove me into the hold. The master and crew were driven into the hold, I mean into the large cabin.

When I came out, the saltpetre was gone, the men were gone, the launch was gone, and we sailed back for Sai Ying-pun. I came ashore at daylight to report the matter. I saw a cargo boat on the Praya. I looked into it and saw my saltpetre. I saw the prisoners there; they were in the cargo boat rowing towards the Praya, when I saw saltpetre on board. They went on shore. I recognized them as being men who had robbed me and I followed them. They ran into a shop. I waited for them at the door of the shop. They saw me and got frightened and ran out and called to the people of the cargo boat to row away. The saltpetre was worth about $350. I have no previous knowledge of prisoners. After I was driven into the cabin I could see one of them had a bull's eye lantern.

Cross examined by Mr. FRANCIS :-I live at Ip Yuen in Hongkong on the Praya but don't know the number of the house. I am a travelling trader and have no interest in the shop. I belong to Husan; Chiu Chow district. I have been in Hongkong since last year. I was formerly in Chefoo. I have not done very much business. I have sent some English cargo to Swatow by junk and steamer. When I sent by junk formerly I paid duty. I do not pay duty on sending goods, but when I get goods I pay duty. Duty is paid at Swatow. Sometimes I accompany goods sometimes not. I don't know that there are Chinese Customs stations near Hongkong. I never heard of it. I never heard of an office in Hongkong. I purchased saltpetre from Wing Cheung Tye shop in Hongkong. I bought it on 24th, 9th moon (4th November) I put it on junk on 5th, no mistake about date. I spoke to last witness about engaging junk on several occasions, agreement was made on 4th, first spoke to him don't remember date. It was in the 9th Junk went to Yaumáti 25th 9th moon (5th November), she left Hongkong in the afternoon before sunset. I never saw 3rd defendant before. I do not know if he belongs to shop in Hongkong. He was arrested on the wharf near Hongkong steamers. I saw a man about to run away and called a Constable and arrested him. 3rd prisoner was arrested on the Praya; he was going to run. On night of 27th I saw 1st and 2nd prisoners on board the junk. Depositions read.

moon.

That was the evidence I gave. I did not say I knew 3rd prisoner. I said I had passed his shop several times and knew his shop Kwong Yet Cheong. I said I was locked in cabin and could not see anything. I heard them moving the goods. I said I saw 3rd prisoner come on board first and I saw 1st and 2nd come after him. I might have made a mistake. 3rd prisoner was arrested in the road. It is a mistake to say he was arrested

1

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in the shop. Don't know who made the mistake. I had a talk with the master of the junk on the 31st October but the matter was not settled until the 4th November. 3rd prisoner took the money from me, $47. He went into the cabin and opened a bundle and took the money with his own hands. I don't know if he is the master of the Kwong Yip Cheong. I know he went into that shop. I did not say he was the master. said he must be as he ran into that shop.

I

Re-Examined:-I could not see when I was in the cabin. I said I could see because when he was going into the cabin I saw him-3rd prisoner-but I could not see the others. There were more than 10 men. I did not see them all. I judged from the noise. I saw 3rd prisoner. I saw the other 2 but am not quite sure of them. I could not recognize them exactly. I saw 3rd prisoner he went into the hold and took my money. To the Court:-The money was in the hold in a bundle near where I was sleeping. The 3rd prisoner went into the room with me; no one else. There were 5 or 6 others of

my fellow workmen present. When they first boarded the junk he came. They did not ask for papers nor did they look what cargo we had. I was standing at the door, so were the others. We were all driven in. He took away my money, bundle and pair of shoes. I did not see him take anything else.

TANNA SINGH, Police Constable 687 :-On the morning of the 7th November I was on the Praya. I saw 1st and 3rd prisoners. They were running followed by the last witness and the 1st witness. They were running too.

They were running too. From what I could make out, I arrested 1st and 3rd prisoners and took them to the station.

cargo

JEWAR SINGH, Police Constable 572-I was on duty on the Praya west on the morning of the 7th November. I met 1st witness that morning. He took me on board a boat. When I heard the row I went up. The row was when the other prisoners were arrested. I went on board the cargo boat and 1st witness pointed out 2nd prisoner I saw bags of saltpetre on board; over 100. There were 2 women and a boy on board, 5 of them. Cross examined by Mr. FRANCIS:-The cargo boat was at anchor. The boat people were getting their meals and he was on the boat.

I was on

A steam

CHING WING PAT:-I was a seaman on board the junk Kum Hop Hing, board off Lápsápwán at 10 o'clock on the night of the 6th November. launch came alongside. I and the rest of the crew were driven into the hold. I saw the 3 prisoners come on board; no mistake about it. The 1st prisoner struck me in my eye with one of our muskets. I did not go on deck; my eye was bad; I remained below, next morning I found myself in Victoria Harbour and the other witnesses were ashore. CHEUNG A YIK:-I am a boatman belonging to the cargo boat. I was off Douglas wharf on the morning of the 7th November. 3rd prisoner engaged my boat to take some saltpetre. I took saltpetre at Shamshuipò beyond the dock from a steam launch. It was packed in mat bags. He wanted me to bring it to the parade ground and to see if there was a steam launch; if not to take it myself to Kowloon city. I had no other bags but saltpetre. The 1st and 3rd prisoners crossed with the saltpetre. 3rd prisoner did not move the bags. I did not see him tie them when we got over to this side I did not see 2nd prisoner. When we got to Douglas wharf a Policeman came. The 2nd prisoner came out on the wharf. He did not come on board the cargo boat. A Policeman came on board. 1st witness came with him. 2nd prisoner was in my boat then.

CHOY HUNG CHEONG recalled:-My saltpetre was packed in mat bags. The small bag in Court belonged to me. The other did not. I am sure that is my bag. I know it by the bag. It contains 50 catties.

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LI A SIN-I belong to Wong Chun Tai Shop as Accountant. I receive the money for goods sold. I sold saltpetre in November to 2nd witness 62 piculs. It was in bags, each bag contained 50 catties. That bag is the sort of bag. I could not be sure it was the same.

Cross examined by Mr. FRANCIS:--Those are receipts for saltpetre, dates 25th 9th moon (5th November), 40 piculs; 21st 9th moon, (1st November), 16 piculs; 21st 9th moon, (1st November), 6 piculs. I gave purchaser only these documents, saltpetre is mentioned not sugar.

WM. RIVERS Inspector of Police:--I did not see the cargo boat. I sent 2 detectives 234 and 198 and they brought the saltpetre. They brought 14 bags.

11 large bags weighing, 103 small

....

..1,437 ...6,883

Total,...........8,320 lbs. 62 piculs and 40 catties,

I have brought one large and one small. The small bag would weigh about 50. I have seen the steam launch Kung Wo. She frequently anchors by the Parade Ground and flies the Chinese flag. I have seen 5 similar steam launches at the same place.. Mr. FRANCIS says he does not dispute the identity of the saltpetre. Attorney General then states that is the case for prosecution. Mr. FRANCIS; case for defence two-fold. 1st, the crew of the steam launch; 2ndly, prisoners had individually nothing to do with it.

LOK CHI YÜNE :-I am the Commander of the steam launch Kung Wo. She belongs to the Chinese Customs Authorities at Kowloon City. I hold the rank of Superintendent. I have been in command of the steam launch rather more than a year. That is my letter of authority. (See pages 81-82). The boat belongs to my elder brother LOK CHIN LUN. Lun. I am authorized to seize opium, saltpetre, sulphur, salt and arms, and gunpowder. I am usually stationed at the Parade Ground. The launch belongs to Kowloon. I always fly the Chinese flag. When I come in or go out we do not need to report to the Harbour Master. We have the dragon flag. We report to the Customs authorities when we make a seizure. We left the anchorage at 8.30 on the 6th November. We proceeded to the west. I don't know Green Island. I am not a seaman. I have seen the Lighthouse. We passed it going out on the evening of the 6th. After going out one of my men saw a sail and we pursued her until we got near to Ling Ping. It was a little after 11 o'clock. We ordered her to change her course. We saw no one on board of her and lowered a boat; 4 men went in her. I did not go in the boat. Neither of the prisoners went in the boat. 1st prisoner belongs to the launch. 2nd prisoner does not. He is a shopman. 3rd prisoner is master of a shop, and I know him. 2nd and 3rd prisoners were not on board the launch that night. It was reported saltpetre was on board the junk and I ordered it to be seized. 6 boxes caps, 15 muskets and 2 packets of gunpowder were also seized. The names of the men who went on board the junk are Low Sai, Lee Kow, WONG PING, LO CHEUNG. 1st prisoner was not one. I am authorized to seize such cargoes. There are instructions at Canton. My brother gave me verbal instructions when he handed the vessel over to me, what goods we were to seize. I did not see the saltpetre actually brought on board the steam launch. I was down below at the time. I know of no money or clothing being taken. I searched some other vessel that night, no smuggled goods were on board. I went in the launch with the saltpetre to Yeung Shu Wan to westward. The cargo was transferred into our steam launch there from the junk. We took the junk in there. It is in Chinese territory. We let the junk go. I went to search boats. I wished to get back to Kowloon City, but did not. We

I

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saw another vessel and came back eventually to Shamshuipò. It was about daylight. There is a Chinese Custom House at Shamshuipò. I came across to Hongkong to engage a cargo boat. I asked 3rd prisoner as a friend to engage it. I wanted to lighten our launch to send saltpetre to Kowloon and pursue the boat which I had seen. 1st prisoner was sent in charge of the Saltpetre he was to take it to Kowloon City. When I came over to engage the cargo boat none of my men came with me. I did not go with the cargo boat. I saw the saltpetre being loaded into the cargo boat. I am a soldier. I have a sailing master on board. I can't say how far my district extends. I dont know how fast the steam launch steams. The junk was stopped at Ling Sing not in these waters. FO TAI is my pilot or sailing master. 1st prisoner never boarded the junk when in the cargo boat he was there by my orders. 3rd prisoner has nothing to do with the launch.

2nd prisoner had nothing to do with it.

Cross examined by the Attorney General :-I was not present when the prisoners were arrested. I asked the 3rd prisoner to engage a cargo boat and he came over in it. I don't know if 2nd prisoner was in the cargo boat. The strength of my crew is about 10. I received my appointment from the Viceroy of the Two Kwang. It is written to my elder brother. Mr. FRANCIS produces rough translation. LOK CHU LAM is 'my brother, and of the district of Héungshan. That is Macao district. Smugglers are people who do not pay duty. They can pay at Kapshuimún. If in Hongkong waters I cannot touch a vessel. If they pass Kapshuimún or if it has goods that are not passable I can. I stop any junk that leaves Hongkong with saltpetre on board outside English boundary I have authority here. I let the vessel go out of compassion. The people asked me to do so and I sent saltpetre to Kowloon to be sent to Canton. 3rd prisoner had to come back to Canton. It was to go to the Customs at Kowloon City I did not take it in the launch because the launch was heavy and I wanted to chase another junk. I had no information about this junk. I was searching vessels and came across it after arresting it I searched another. I generally go out but not every night.

The Attorney General says he cannot contend after this evidence that this was a case of piracy.

The Chief Justice so directs jury.

Verdict not Guilty.

Copy of Commission furnished by the Board of Lekin to the Commander of a Revenue Cruiser produced in Supreme Court in January 1883, where three men were

charged with piracy of Saltpetre which was brought into the Colony for sale.

SIT, Expectant Prefect, Chief Collector of the lekin tax on opium in the San On and Héung-shán districts, and CHEUNG, Assistant Collector of the same tax in the same districts, address a communication. A despatch has been received from the Central Lekin Board (to the following effect):-----

"Let LOK CH'IN LUN, first on the list for promotion as Captain, be appointed to the "command of the steamer Kung-mò, to cruise about and keep watch in the waters of "the San On and Héungshán Districts and their Dependencies, away from the foreign "boundary. In the event of vessels belonging to crafty merchants smuggling opiuin,

(82)

((

saltpetre, sulphur, salt, munitions. of war and other contraband goods, immediate "arrest must be made after enquiry, and they must be taken to the chief station to be

(6

carefully examined, and, if it should be found necessary, conveyed to the capital, "confiscated and dealt with. The officer in question must make it his duty to command "and act with the men under his control in keeping a diligent lookout night and day, "and must not neglect the responsibility entrusted to him.”

Having received this despatch we think it only right to make a copy of it for your information, that you may forthwith act in accordance with the instructions of the Central Lekin Board, carrying them out in detail in an energetic manner without the slightest remissness.

An urgent communication.

3rd day 7th moon, 8th year Kwong Sü, (16th August, 1882).

NOTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN AT THE SUPREME COURT OF HONGKONG,

IN THE CASE OF

REGINA v. TAI WA, charged with Piracy,

Chinese patrol flag employed for purpose of robbing more easily.

Criminal Sessions, July 1883.

Attorney General for prosecution,

Prisoner undefended.

Plea not guilty.

23rd July, 1883.

Lo

LO KIM MIN :-I am the Master of the Chinese Junk Kwong Sun Lio, Low KUNG TSZ is owner. I had some clothing and money about 10 taels and 228 pigs which were for customers. On 2nd May I was at sea in the junk, beyond Kwo Chow beyond Po Toi Ti near Lan Toi. It was outside Liümún Pass and near Fat Tow-moon Pass. I saw a paddling boat. It had masts. It sailed

It sailed up towards us. We were going down they were coming up and they called out that they wanted to search our boat. They had 20 odd men. We had nine. They were flying a flag, a yellowish one. It had 2 characters on it, Tsun Chá patrol. They were waving the flag. They told to us to stop that they might come and search the boat but we did not. They then fired at us 6 muskets and threw a stinkpot. We crouched down in the boat. They each had 6 barrelled revolvers and they came into our boat more than 10 men. Prisoner was amongst them. They shut us up in the hold. It was about 4 P.M. That same evening at 9 P.M. I heard the anchor dropped. It was at a place called Tam kún Tau. They took our people into their boat and they sailed off with us, we remained 3 nights and 2 days until we got to Tai U Shan. On the night of the 4th, we were put on shore. Tai U Shan is below Lan Tau a little further than Ch'éungchau. It is called Fun Lao. I do not know what they did with our vessel, I did not see it. They left us there. They took our

4

( 83 )

A

We re- I was at

junk and everything in it. We went to Tai O on the morning of the 5th. ported to the Chinese mandarin and came by passage boat to Hongkong. Yaumáti on 19th instant. I recognized prisoner as one of the men who came to our boat. I am sure of him. I recognized him by his countenance. I did not know him before. I have never seen the pirate junk nor my own since.

Cross examined:-I recognize you by a mark on your forehead. arrested in the street.

I had you

CHUN A HAM:----I was clerk on the Kwong Sun Li on the 1st May. A pirate boat came down to us from Ko Chow. The pirates said they wanted to search our boat. They fired at us 5 or 6 guns and they came on board us.

Prisoner was amongst them. He had a revolver and a dagger or sword. He did not fire. They sent us below, we were transferred into the other junk at 9 o'clock at Tam Po Shan, we sailed until we got to Tai U Shan. There we engaged a passage boat to Hongkong. The Police came on the 19th May and took me to Police Hulk. I saw some 10 odd men on board. I recognized prisoner as one of the men. I would not know any of the others. I know prisoner because he caught hold of me and pushed me into the hold.

Cross examined :—I saw a great many men in your boat.

On 1st May we were off They fired 6 guns at us and

KUNG A SAM :-I am a seaman on the Kwong Sun Li. Luk Tao when a junk came down upon us about 4 P.M. threw a stinkpot. They came on board and drove us down. I saw the prisoner. He came over to our boat. He had a dagger or sword and a revolver. We were afterwards taken to Tai U Shan. About 19th or 20th May I was taken to gaol. I saw between 10 and 20 men there. The Inspector took me. He did not point out any one to me. I pulled prisoner out. I had not seen CHAN A HAM that day. He had not told me he recognized any one. I know prisoner because he came to our boat. I would not recognize any others. An English Constable did not pull you out from the others. I know you because you gave me rice at every meal.

CHIU WONG MIN, Sergeant Police 378:-On the 19th May I went with 1st witness to Yaumáti to look for people said to be pirates. The first witness left me. I told him he had better not go with me. Subsequently he called me and pointed out prisoner. I said he must make sure he is the man and I arrested him. I took CHAN A HAM to Police Chop, Inspector put men in row and he identified the prisoner. I took KUNG A SAM the 3rd witness to the Central Police Station. Inspector took KUNG A SAM into gaol. I did not go. To the prisoner. I took you out from rest but at that time ASAM did not see you.

Case for prosecution.

Prisoner says I am a carpenter not a pirate came from home on 10th April and stayed at Kowloon until 19th May and met Police who arrested me. I stopped with LAU MAK WA.

last

LAU MAK WA:-Master of sail and rope shop at Tai ko shui. I have seen prisoner year on board some salt junks. He has never stopped with me.

Verdict guilty.

( 84 )

Letter from the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce relative to the alleged smuggling from Hongkong.

SIR,

HONGKONG GENERAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, HONGKONG, 22nd November, 1882.

The attention of the Committee of this Chamber has been called to certain statements recently made in the United Kingdom regarding this Colony, on what must unfortunately appear to the public mind to be competent authority, but which are nevertheless unwarranted and misleading.

The statements referred to are, in the opinion of the Committee, calculated not only to affect injuriously the reputation of the Colony, but to damage its interests by prejudicing the policy of the Home Government and the Imperial Parliament, when dealing with the settlement of questions arising out of the close political and commercial relations which the Island of Hongkong from its juxta-position must necessarily hold with the Empire of China.

The Committee offers no apology for addressing you on this subject as it ventures to believe that the promotion of British Commercial enterprise abroad in all legitimate channels is one of the objects the London Chamber of Commerce has in view, and, to that end, it is clearly desirable that a true apprecia- tion should prevail, not only among the members of your influential Committee, but throughout the United Kingdom, as to the position and character of British trade and traders in the Colonies and Foreign Countries.

In the course of an address on the Repression of Crime delivered at the Social Science Congress, recently held in Nottingham, Sir JOHN POPE HENNESSY, Governor of this Colony, now on leave of absence in England, is reported to have said—I quote from the Nottingham and Midland Countries Daily "Express," of the 22nd September:-"In the little Colony under my government one million Sterling "changes hands every month in the article of Opium. But, with commercial activity and profits, there "comes an increase of crime from Opium, from its consumption, and from its smuggling. Hongkong “ "wages a chronic Opium war on a small scale with China. A desperate class of men, the Opium แ smugglers make the Colony the base of their operations-they purchase cannon and ammunition there, "they fit out heavily armed junks and engage, within sight of the Island, in naval battles with the પર revenue cruisers of the Emperor of China. Sometimes the Emperor's revenue officers are killed, some- "times the smugglers. Not unfrequently wounded men of both sides are brought into the Colony. All "this gives rise to a class of crimes difficult for the Governor to repress, difficult on account of the "influence of those who profit by it, whether they are local traders or the financiers of a Viceroy.”

The picture thus sensationally drawn is one which, from its great exaggerations, gives an untrue representation of the state of things prevailing in these waters, and cannot fail to lead to the formation of wholly incorrect inferences as to the relations existing between the population of this Island, for the most part law-abiding and pursuing honest and industrious callings, and the Authorities of the neigh- bouring mainland,

Sir JOHN HENNESSY states that Opium, to the extent of a million Sterling, changes hands in this Colony every month, and this assertion as to the magnitude of the trade was obviously made in order to show the vast and wide-spread interests involved in it, and the influential protection therefore likely to be afforded to a traffic which the general tenour of the remarks just quoted cannot fail to lead ordinary readers to suppose is to a very large extent, if not mainly, contraband.

Your Committee will be able to judge from the following facts how far the injurious imputation thus plausibly insinuated, if not directly stated, is to be justified by the actual position of affairs.

The Import of Opium from India and Persia to Hongkong and the whole of China for the year 1881,

was-

Of Malwa, from Bombay,

Bengal, from Calcutta,

From Persia,

..35,729 chests. ...44,124 6,763

**

""

7

Total,......

...86,616 chests.

of an approximate value of £10,000,000 Sterling.

}

85)

With some slight and unimportant exceptions, the whole of this Opium, the trade in which it is worthy of note is now practically monopolized by British Indian firms, passes through this harbour, but by far the larger proportion of it can only be classed under the head of Hongkong trade in the sense in which the traffic through the Suez Canal can be considered as Egyptian trade. About one half of the quantity of Opium I have named as the entire import is immediately sent on either in the original foreign vessels conveying it here, or by other vessels, also foreign, to Shanghai, where it is entered regularly at the Custom House under Official foreign superintendence.

Of the remainder, about one half, that is to say, one quarter of the whole, is shipped by foreign vessels to other treaty ports open to foreign trade, where it is duly entered at the Customs. The local trade proper of the Colony, whether for shipment to Macao or Canton by foreign and native vessels, or in native bottoms to non-treaty ports,-i.e., to ports and places with which foreign vessels cannot trade,―for con- sumption on the island, and for re-export in a prepared state to California and Australia, or for smuggling purposes, embraces therefore about one fourth of the entire export to China from India and Persia, or say, in quantity about 21,000 chests, of an approximate value of £2,500,000, or about £200,000 per month, instead of £1,000,000 per month as asserted by Governor HENNESSY.

There being no Custom House at this port, it is impossible to obtain thoroughly accurate statistics as to the disposition of the 21,000 chests of Opium which form the local trade of the Colony. As regards the local consumption and export in a prepared state, it may be estimated that from 2,500 to 5,000 chests are boiled in the Colony every year, leaving a balance of 16,000 to 18,500 chests to be accounted for. To suppose that this quantity is taken into China by smugglers, would be to disregard all the known conditions of the trade, and the fact the preventive service of the Chinese Empire is probably in point of espionage the most carefully organised one in the world. On every road, in every village bordering on a river or waterway, at every port, village, and fishing station along the Coast, there is a watchful Customs Station, rendering it very difficult for a boat of the smallest size to touch the shore without being over- hauled and made to pay levies purporting to be Imperial or local dues. To what extent such dues are honestly levied and declared, there is no means of ascertaining. The Customs Stations are believed to be farmed out by the Provincial Authorities to Officials who pay for their appointments, and although a service thus organised would be considered as a demoralised one and its system unreservedly condemned according to Western ideas, it is probable that the receipts of perquisites, and the partial remission of duties by Customs Officials who farm the revenue, is a quasi recognized practice acquiesced in by all classes throughout the Empire.

With this system, however, the Colony and Merchants of Hongkong have no concern, and for its results they are in no way responsible. As the vast majority of the junks which leave the mainland with Produce or arrive there with Imports, undoubtedly obtain from the local Custom Houses port clearances and bills of entry, the large trade, whether in Opium or other goods, carried on between this port and places on the Coast in Native bottoms, being thus subjected to the ordinary fiscal dues levied on the China Coast according to the practice of the Empire, is for the most part a strictly legal one.

Smuggling between this Island and the mainland in goods other than Opium scarcely exists, as an evasion of the low ad valorem duty of 5 % which is payable on entry at the Treaty ports, and is probably the maximum similarly leviable at other ports, would not compensate for the heavy charges which must be incurred by transit over unusual routes, even if the ubiquitous Customs Officials could be avoided. Opium, owing to its portable character, the facility with which it can be hidden beneath water without serious deterioration, and the high duty imposed upon it, is more readily and profitably smuggled, but the returns which have been received through the Native Custom House at Canton make it nearly certain that the quantity which evades the payment of duty, either at the Treaty ports or the ports and places not open to foreign trade, is not greater than 2,000 to 3,000 chests per annum. (See Parliamentary Papers-China No. 2, 1880). And the quantity thus estimated to be smuggled is not conveyed, as alleged by Governor HENNESSY, in Junks heavily armed for the purpose, fighting their way to the mainland through the Revenue Cruisers, but is concealed, a few balls at a time, about the persons, and in the luggage of Chinese passengers by the steamers plying between this port and Canton, and other places on the Coast, or in ordinary trading junks and fishing boats or unpretentious character, or fast pulling boats propelled by a number of rowers, or by various devices such as are practised by the persons who evade the duties on tobacco in the United Kingdom. That the Revenue Cruisers which surround this Island keep up an

( 86 )

effective blockade which prevents the smuggling of Opium on a much larger scale than at present takes place, is probably true, and it is also true that Chinese junks and boats in the Estuary of the Canton Iliver, which do not promptly submit to be overhauled by the Cruisers, are chased and brought to for examination, if necessary, by being fired upon. The propinquity, however, of this Island to the mainland so far from being a cause of injury to the Chinese Customs Revenue, operates most advantageously for the collection of fiscal levies upon the foreign trade of the Southern Coast of the Empire. Were the Island situated at a greater distance from the mainland than it is, or did not exits in its present conditions as a free port under a foreign Government, the difficulties which would be placed in the way of the Chinese Authorities, when engaged in checking smuggling in Opium, would be much greater than they now are. Opium in that case would probably be shipped in Native vessels from more distant depôts, such as Singapore, Saigon or the French mediatized territory of Tonquin, to Chinese ports and places, and it would be impossible for the Revenue Cruisers to watch the entire line of their own Coast as effectively as they are now able to blockade this Island in which the trade is centred and controlled.

There is. therefore, no ground for Governor HENNESSY's statement that this Colony is engaged in chronic war with the neighbouring mainland, or for his implied imputation that the course of its trade is injurious to the Chinese fiscal revenue. On the contrary, the facts of the case show that the physical conditions of the Island of Hongkong not only afford the ready means by which the Chinese Government is enabled to protect its legitimate revenue, but also unfortunately place it in the power of the Authorities of the Province of Quangtung to surcharge the trade in foreing goods, carried on in Native vessels between Hongkong and the Southern ports of China, with additional taxation in excess of that authorized by the foreign treaties.

With the view to make a representation to H. M. Government in support of which it may hereafter be necessary to invite the good offices of your Committee, this Chamber is now engaged in an investigation into the facts, so far as they can be ascertained, relating to this alleged surcharge of duties upon the Colonial Trade, for the collection of which, as well as for the prevention of an illicit traffic in Opium, there is reason to believe the blockade of this Island by Chinese Revenue Cruisers is maintained.

So much as regards the general condition of the Trade of the Colony which evidence the grave misre- presentations contained in the Nottingham address, but in order to show conclusively, by official returns on matters of fact, the groundlessness of the specific accusations made by Sir JOHN POPE HENNESSY, your attention is invited to the annexed copies of correspondence, with its enclosures, between the Colonial Government and the Committee of this Chamber.

In response to the request of the Committee, the Acting Colonial Secretary under the direction of His Excellency the Administrator has furnished the Chamber with the following documents, viz.:-

1. Extract from a Report by the Colonial Teasurer and Registrar General upon the Opium Trade of

the Colony.

2. Return from the Harbour Master, showing the character of the native vessels engaged in Opium Smuggling and the number of cases of alleged smuggling brought before the Marine Court since April, 1877.

3. Return from the Captain Superintendent of Police, showing the total number of attacks and sei- zures made by Customs Revenue Cruisers in the neighbourhood of the Colony and reported to the Police since 1st January, 1877.

The Colonial Treasurer's Report on the Opium Trade for 1876, confirms the figures of the approximate estimate made by this Chamber from independent sources and given above, as to the probable quantity. of Opium smuggled into China from this Colony.

The Harbour Master's Return shows that there is no special class of vessels fitted out in the Colony and heavily armed for the purpose of Opium smuggling, as alleged by Governor HENNESSY, and in the 5 cases cited in the report which comprise the whole number brought before the Marine Court in the course of five years, it will be seen that the quantity of Opium found in the vessels charged with being engaged in

Published at pages 64 to 75, and

89 & 92 of Appendix.

1

( 87 )

}

$

illicit trade was so inconsiderable, as to make it obvious that the concealment of Opium took place in each case in an ordinary trading junk. It is also clear from this Return, that nothing is known in the Harbour Master's Department of the armed organisation for the purpose of Opium smuggling which is stated by Governor HENNESSY to carry on a chronic war with the Empire of China.

The return from the Captain Superintendent of Police dealing with the entire number of cases reported to the Police Authorities during the years 1878 to 1882 (inclusive) of seizures by Chinese Revenue Cruisers and affrays between the Cruisers and Native vessels on the neighbouring China Coast,

is instructive.

The number of cases is 23, but of these only 6 are reported to be connected with the Opium Trade, and the value of the Opium seized varies from $3 in one case to the maximum amount in another of $800, showing, in confirmation of the Report by the Harbour Master to a similar effect, the comparatively un- important character of the Opium smuggling which prevails in these waters, and the absurdity of the allegation that there is a large contraband trade conducted in heavily armed junks fitted for the purpose in this harbour.

The remaining 17 cases of seizures by Revenue Cruisers during 5 years do not appear by the returns to have been connected with Opium; 7 of them were Salt junks, 1 Sulphur and Saltpetre, 3 General cargo, and 2 Sugar. In 4 cases the particulars of cargoes are not stated.

The return shows the numbers of casualties with fatal results reported to the Police as having occurred in affrays between Native vessels and the Revenue Cruisers during the period of five years under review. Such casualties have been 8 in number, but not one of them appears to have had any connection with Opium smuggling, or to have arisen out of any case of contraband trading with which this Colony was concerned.

In August 1878, a fisherman on the Hongkong shore was accidentally killed by a shot fired by a Revenue Cruiser when pursuing a junk ultimately seized for some breach of Chinese regulations with general cargo on board.

In May 1879, 3 men of a Revenue Cruiser were killed in an affray with a junk carrying Salt. As Salt is not produced or prepared in this Island, this affray was not generated in the Colony or within Colonial waters. The preparation of Salt in China is conducted as a very strict monopoly by means of Government licenses, and trade in it other than by duly authorized persons is contraband. Serious affrays between Salt smugglers and Revenue Officers are well-known to be common throughout the Empire, they are frequently alluded to in the Peking Gazette, and in the case referred to in the Police Report, the junk must have been passing from one part of the territory of China to another part outside British waters.

On 28th November 1881, a man was killed in a boat which was conveying two gentlemen of this Colony who were returning from a shooting expedition on the mainland. Passing by a Customs Station on the Chinese side of the channel the boat was ordered to heave to, not doing so promptly musket shots were fired at it and one of the crew was most unfortunately killed. In this case, there appears to have been no smuggling attempted.

In April this year a man was killed on board a rowing boat in the narrow channel separating Hong- kong from the mainland, and in June last 2 men were killed outside British waters in a trading junk carrying Sulphur and Saltpetre which are contraband articles of trade in China. In neither case does it appear that Opium was concerned.

With referrence, therefore, to Sir JOHN POPE HENNESSY's allegations which were to the following

effect:

a. That this Island is the base of operations for a class of desperate men who carry on a large con-

traband trade in Opium with China,

b. That, for the purpose of carrying on that trade, junks heavily armed with cannon are fitted out

here and wage a chronic war with the neighbouring Empire,

c. That these junks engage, within sight of the Island, in naval battles with the Chinese Revenue

Cruisers resulting in large loss of life on both sides,

( 88 )

the facts are:-

a. There is no large contraband trade in Opium carried on between this Colony and the China Coast. On the contrary the Opium smuggled, considering the extent of the trade, is inconsiderable and for the most part is carried into China in small quantities, portable and easily concealed, just as parcels of tobacco are smuggled into the United Kingdom.

b. That within the knowledge of the Harbour Master and the Colonial Police Authorities no armed junks have been fitted out in this harbour during the last five years for the purpose of Opium smuggling. Smuggling of Opium, when attempted at all otherwise than by passengers in the various steamers trading to the Coast of China, is carried on in ordinary trading junks or in rowing boats dependent for success in their illicit trade upon their swiftness and small size.

c. No such contests as those referred to in allegation c. have taken place within the last five years, and no loss of life in connection with Opium smuggling during the same period has come under the notice of the Police. Any serious affrays attended with loss of life which have occurred in the neighbourhood of this Colony between Native vessels and Revenue Cruisers, have been in connection with contraband traffic in other articles on the adjacent China Coast with which, so far as is known, this Colony has had no concern. The only instance reported by the Police in which Revenue Officers have been injured, was the case of the Salt junk referred to above and shown to be a purely Chinese affair.__

It may be added that on goods other than Opium there is very little if any illicit trade carried on between this Colony and the mainland, and that no allegation has ever been made that foreigners are engaged directly or indirectly in smuggling of any kind.

In conclusion the Committee cannot refrain from expressing regret that Sir JOHN POPE HENNESSY having had the fullest opportunities as Governor of this Island for five years of obtaining accurate infor- mation with regard to occurrences taking place and the state of affairs prevailing here during his term of office, should have been led to make statements, unfounded in fact and misleading in the inferences they are calculated to raise, which could not fail to damage the character of the Colony, the legitimate interests of which it might justly have been expected he would have been most anxious to defend.

Copies of this letter will be sent through His Excellency the Administrator to Her Majesty's Prin- cipal Secretary of State for the Colonies, and to the various Chambers of Commerce in the United King- dom.

I am, Sir,

CHARLES MAGNIAC, Esq., M.P.,

President of the London Chamber of Commerce,

LONDON.

Your most obedient Servant,

(Signed)

رم

F. BULKELEY JOHNSON,

Chairman.

!

(Copy.)

No. 365.

( 89 )

Return of Cases brought before the Marine Magistrate from 1866 to 1877.

HARBOUR DEPARTMENT, HONGKONG, 13th November, 1882.

SIR,-In compliance with your directions of the 11th instant, I have the honour to enclose a Return of the cases brought before the Marine Court since April, 1877.

The Return will show the class of vessels employed in Opium smuggling, together with their crews and armament, but it must be borne in mind that all Junks, whether smuggling or trading, are armed as are the vessels in this Return.

The vessels employed as smugglers have for some time been fast pulling boats which can creep along the shore unobserved, and if they are seen, the crews are enabled to land and escape with their cargoes.

I may remark that none of the vessels engaged in smuggling are regularly employed as such. If a man in desirous of smuggling Opium, he hires any vessel that he can get.

In the enclosed Return the last case mentioned is one that came before two Magistrates, the Honour- able No CHOY and myself, and will show the class of craft employed. The Offender was convicted and his cargo and vessel were ordered to be forfeited-Sub-section 14, Section 38 of Ordinance 8 of 1879. The owner of the Opium appealed to the Supreme Court against this decision, and the Magistrates' finding was reversed, as the vessel was not held to be a "junk or seagoing vessel," and therefore did not come within the meaning of the Ordinance,

I have, &c.,

(Signed)

H. G. THOMSETT,

Harbour Master, &c.

The Honourable F. STEWART, LL.D.,

Acting Colonial Secretary, &c.,

&o.,

&o.

RETURN of CASES brought before the MARINE MAGISTRATE under Ordinance 6 of 1866 now Section XXXVIII of Ordinance 8 of 1879, (Junks), since 1st April, 1877.

DATE.

SIZE OF VESSEL.

NO. OF CREW,

ARMAMENT.

NATURE OF CHARGE.

CARGO. FINDING.

1877

REMARKS.

12th Nov, Trading Junk,

4,000 piculs,

236 tons,

20

1878

13th Sept. Fishing Junk,

6

124 piculs, 7

tons.

1880

4th June Trading Junk,

1,000 piculs,

59 tons.

10

Cannons 4, European Muskets 12, Pistols 4, Spears 17, Swords 4, Powder 200 tbs., Mixed Cannon Shot 400 lbs., Bullets 13 Ibs.

European Muskets 4, Pistol 1, Spear 1, Sword 1. Powder 3 fbs., Bullets 5 lbs.

European Muskets 7, Spears 3, Powder 3 fbs., Bullets 7 lbs.

Furnishing

40 balls Discharged.

Paid 64 Taels and 4 mace Lekin at Hongkong.

untrue parti- Opium.

culars to Harbour Office.

Leaving the 350 balls Discharged. Harbour with- Opium.

out a clearance.

Furnishing untrue parti- culars to Harbour Office.

1880

16th Aug. Fishing Boat,

7

Nil.

60 piculs, 3

tons.

Neglect to report arrival,

1880

13th Sept. Small rowing

Boat.

4 Loaded Revolvers 2.

Leaving the waters of the Colony without a clearance.

Opium. Junk and Cargo

forfeited.

90 balls Opium.

Minutes of this case sent to Colonial Secretary, on the 7 June, 1880, and not returned to Harbour Office.

Fined 50 cents. Minutes of this case sent to Colonial Secretary, on the 18th August, 1880, and not returned to Harbour Office.

Magistrates ordered Junk and Cargo to be forfeited, Sub-section 9, Section 38 of Ordinance 8 of 1879.

Appealed against and conviction reversed, the vessel not being a "junk or sea-going vessel " within the meaning of the Ordi-

nance.

Harbour Department, Hongkong, 13th November, 1882.

(Signed)

H. G. THOMSETT, R.N., Harbour Master, &c.

( 90 )

ATTACKS AND SEIZURES BY CHINESE CUSTOMS REVENUE CRUISERS,

Reported to the Hongkong Police, since 1st January, 1877.

DATE.

PLACE OF ATTACK.

VESSEL ATTACKED.

CARGO, &C., SEIZED.

CASUALTIES.

1877.

1878.

June 2

Round Island,...

Salt Junk,...

Junk and Opium,

July 12 Ngai Chau...................

Fishing Junk 1602,

Junk and Salt,

12

"3

""

"

1481,

Aug. 16 Cape Collinson,

29 Deep Water Bay,

Boat,........

General Cargo,

Junk,

1879.

April 7 Cape Collinson,........

7

Fishing Junk 2494,

1907,

Junk and Salt,

11

"

""

May 11

Stanley,...

""

14 Cape Collinson.........................

27

Nov. 13 Cape D'Aguilar,

"7

REMARKS.

1 man killed, A Fisherman at Deep Water.

Bay was struck by one of the shots fired by the Revenue Officers, he was sent to Hos- pital where he died on Sep- tember 3rd.

Opium, value $3,

Junk and Salt,

3 men killed, A European Quarter Master and 2 Chinese Seamen of the Revenue Cruiser were killed by the crew of the captured Junk. The body of the Quarter Master and that of one of the Chinese found and sent to Hospital.

Fined $3 and Junk released.

"

13 Ap-li-chow,

Dec. 11

Pok-foo-lum,

1880.

"?

""

Trading

""

""

Opium, value $400,

April 21 Cape D'Aguilar,

Trading Junk,.....

May 17

Stone Cutters' Island..........

19

Junk and Cargo,

Opium, value $800,

7

23

29

Wong-ma-kok,

""

??

""

$414,

Aug. 12

Stone Cutters' Island............

"J

""

19

"

$390,

15

""

Pak-sha-wan,

""

"

Junk and Sugar,

17

""

Cape Collinson,.

Pilot Boat 120,..............

1881.

July 17

Tai-kok-tsui,

Licensed Boat 281,

Boat,

16 men arrested by Police; 6 convicted and 10 discharged. (June Criminal Sessions).

The Master was assaulted; Police seized the Cruiser's Boat with 8 men; they were released.

Oct. 3 Stone Cutters' Island,... Trading Junk,......

Nov. 28 Tong-koon-tau,

Ha-kau Boat,

...

Police Launch came up; Re-

venue Boat cleared away.

I man killed, (SCHMIDT and RAPP's Case).

Canton River.

1882.

April 7 Ly-ee-moon Pass,

Pullaway Boat,

1 man killed,

Body removed to Hospital.

Inquest held.

June 12 Ap-li-chow,

Trading Junk,...... Junk, Saltpetre

and Sulphur,

2 men

Remainder of crew swam ashore

"

15th November, 1882.

(Signed)

W. M. DEANE,

Captain Superintendent of Police..

i

>

( 91 )

Honourable F. Bulkeley Johnson gives notice of motion that Mr. Creagh's report of

21st June, 1877, be laid on table of Legislative Council.

Mr. Johnson to Clerk of Councils.

QUEEN'S ROAD, 4th December, 1882.

SIR, I ask for leave to add to the terms of the second Resolution, of which I have given notice of motion, in Council to-morrow the following words "also that His Excellency be asked to lay upon the table the copy of the Report of Mr. CREAGH, Acting Superintendent of Police, referred to in Despatch. No. 45 of the 30th June, 1877, from Governor HENNESSY to the EARL OF CARNARVON.

ARATHOON SETH, Esq.,

No. 109.

Clerk of Councils.

Your obedient Servant,

F. BULKELEY JOHNSON.

Acting Captain Superintendent of Police to Colonial Secretary.

VICTORIA, HONGKONG, 21st June, 1877.

SIR,-As I understand that His Excellency the Governor has under consideration the present state of the contraband trade in Salt and Opium between this Colony and China, I take the liberty of bringing to His Excellency's notice an aspect in this traffic which, although conspicuous from a Police point of view, may have escaped the notice of Officers connected with other Departments who have reported on the subject. His Excellency is doubtless aware that, beside the considerable business done in these articles by the ordinary traders, wholesale smuggling is carried on by vessels, constructed and equipped expressly for running the blockade of Revenue Cruisers, with Salt and Opium.

2. These vessels are built for fast sailing and are invariably well armed, and, when unable to escape by flight, they offer a desperate resistance to Revenue Junks. Naval engagements of this description have been witnessed from the shores of this Colony, and smugglers, when worsted in the encounter, have been known to fly to our waters for protection. A case of this sort occurred in November last outside the Kap-shui Mun pass, in which three or four Junks, after exchanging fire for some time with the steamer Ping-chao-hoi, sought refuge in this harbour, where they lay for several days in order to recover from the damage which men and boats had sustained in the engagement. No application for the rendition of criminals of this class has ever been made. While, under the protection of the British flag, they take but little pains to disguise their real character. Their boats may be readily distinguished from the ordinary trader by the physical as well as the numerical strength of the crew, and they are invariably well known to the boat population in the harbours they usually frequent.

3. From a Police stand-point the presence of a fleet of these vessels in the Colonial waters is by no means desirable. The construction and expensive equipment which prevents them from successfully com- peting in legitimate trade peculiarly fits them for piracy as well as smuggling (when increased competi- tion, or other causes, renders their ordinary business less profitable than usual). A class of men, trained up as these are in the open violation of their own laws, can hardly be expected to show much respect to those of other countries.

The Honourable J. G. AUSTIN, C.M.G.,

Colonial Secretary.

I have the honour, to be,

Sir,

Your most obedient Servant,

C. V. CREAGH,

Acting Captain Superintendent of Police.

( 92 )

RETURN of CASES brought before the MARINE MAGISTRATE, under Section XXXVIII of Ordinance 8 of 1879, (Junks), formerly Ord. 6 of 1866, Secs. 8, 9, 19, from 1st January, 1866, to 31st March, 1877.

Date.

Size of No. of vessel. Crew.

Armament,

Nature of Charge.

Cargo.

Finding.

Bemarks.

1873.

Oct. 28 Fishing

Junk, 55 pcls,

4

3 tons, Licence No. 1593

2 Loaded Breech- loading Rifles, 2 Loaded Double- barrelled Pistols, 1 Canister Bul- lets, 16 one-tb. Canister of Gun- powder, 1 Box Caps.

Junk for other than Fishing

purposes.

In using the 156 balls

To forfeit the

Opium,

Licence, & fined $10,

or ten days'

imprison-

ment.

Harbour Department, Hongkong, 19th January, 1883.

H. G. THOMSETT,

Harbour Master, &c.

RETURN of MARINE MAGISTRATE'S CASES forwarded to the Colonial Secretary's Office

and not returned to the Harbour Office.

No. of Case.

Date.

C.S.O. No.

Nature of Charge.

Remarks.

208

21st Dec.,

3,393

- 1871.

Leaving the Harbour without a Sent to C.S.O. on the 21st Dec., 1871,

Clearance.

104

16th April, 1872.

1,128

With using a Licence on board

Do.

17th April, 1872.

an Unlicensed Junk.

107 | 22nd April,

1,193

Leaving the Harbour without a

Da.

23rd April, 1872,

1872.

Clearance.

108 22nd April,

1,192

Do.

Do.

23rd April, 1872,

1872.

*286 19th August,

2,537

Do.

Do,

20th Aug., 1872.

1872.

*287 19th August,

2,536

Do,

Do.

20th Aug., 1872.

1872.

367 14th October,

3,080

Do.

Do.

16th Oct., 1872.

1872.

*It is doubtful if these were retained at this Office or not, they cannot be found. In all the Cases a reference has to be made to them to see if they were connected with Opium carrying, as there is no record in this Office to shew if the vessels were so engaged.

Harbour Department, Hongkong, 19th January, 1883,

H. G. THOMSETT,

Harbour Master, &c.

1

( 93 )

93)

Notice in Gazette inviting persons to give evidence before the Commission.

GOVERNMENT NOTIFICATION.—No. 42.

SMUGGLING INTO CHINA.

The following Notice is published for general information.

By Command,

Colonial Secretary's Office, Hongkong, 3rd February, 1883.

NOTICE.

FREDERICK STEWART,

Acting Colonial Secretary.

The Commission appointed to inquire into the circumstances attending the alleged Smuggling of Opium and other Goods into China from this Colony having commenced its sittings, all Persons who have any evidence to offer or suggestions to make with reference to the inquiry are requested to communicate with the undersigned at the Registrar General's Office.

Registrar General's Office, Hongkong, 3rd February, 1883.

J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART, Secretary.

Copy of Form sent to the Agents of the Hongkong, Canton and Macao Steam-boat Company by Foreign Customs at Canton as to employés suspected of Smuggling.

To

Messrs...

Agents S.S.

PREVENTIVE DEPARTMENT, CUSTOM HOUSE,

CANTON,

188

Gentlemen,

I beg to inform you of the following seizures, made on the. employés of the S.S..

.in which

seem to have been implicated:

Deputy Commissioner.

Seizure in British Waters of Junks by Chinese Cruisers. Police Action Stopped.

STANLEY STATION,

SIR,

13th November, 1879.

I have the honour to inform you that about 6.30 A.M. this morning, a Chinese Revenue Cruiser passed Stanley with one junk in tow and chasing another, which she must have arrested in the vicinity of Deep Water Bay, as I saw her off Aplichau with both junks in tow.

The Cruiser and both junks were in British waters when passing Stanley; and I am of opinion that one of the junks was arrested in British waters.

The junks were about six or seven hundred piculs capacity.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your most obedient Servant,

A. MACKIE,

Inspector.

(94)

CENTRAL STATION,

14th November, 1879.

SIR,

I have the honour to inform you that the grounds on which I expressed my opinion that one of the junks was seized in British waters, are that when passing Stanley they were in British waters and going in the direction of Aplichau Island with one junk in custody I lost sight of them at the place marked A (in the accompanying Map)* and again I saw them near B, the Cruiser having both junks in

tow.

About 45 minutes elapsed from the time they were lost sight of at A until I saw them at B; and taking the usual rate of sailing of a junk of the class to which they both belong, I think it hardly possible that they could have reached B from A in the interval during which I lost sight of them by other than a direct course, which would of necessity have been continuous in British waters.

I have the honour to be,

W. M. DEANE, Esq.,

&c.,

&c.,

&c.

Sir,

Your most obedient Servant,

A. MACKIE,

Inspector.

#

HARBOUR DEPARTMENT,

SIR,

19th November, 1879. ́

In compliance with your instructions, I proceeded to Stanley for the purpose of enquiring into the alleged capture of two junks by a Chinese Revenue Cruiser.

On arriving at Stanley I communicated with Inspector MACKIE who gave me the following informa-

tion.

On the morning of the 13th, at about half past six, he noticed a Chinese Revenue Cruiser steaming across the mouth of Stanley Bay with a junk in tow, he at once ordered his boat and pulled out to a point just inside the West horn of Stanley Bay, where he landed and ascended the hill for the purpose of watch- ing the movements of the Cruiser; by the time he got sight of her she was off Aplichau and had two junks in tow.

After obtaining this information from Inspector MACKIE (who was accompanied by a Chinese Interpreter and a fisherman named Lo A-SAM) I got the launch under way and directed Mr. MACKIE to place her in the position (as near as he could judge) where he first saw the Cruiser. I have marked the position, thus pointed out, on the accompanying tracing 4.

I then steamed the launch to the second position, off Aplichau, which I have marked B.

During the time the launch was steaming between the two positions marked A and B I examined Lo A-SAM, who made the following statement :-

"I am a fisherman residing at Wongmakòk, on the morning of the 13th, about six o'clock, I was "on the hill near Wongmakòk attending to my nets, when I saw a steamer towing a junk proceeding "to the Westward, she passed about three li off Wongmakòk; I saw a junk under sail ahead of the "steamer, and I saw the steamer take this junk in tow at the position pointed out by me (marked C.) "I could not see if the junk had a number on her bow. I cannot identify either the steamer or the "junks; the steamer's funnel was painted black and so was her hull."

I questioned Inspector MACKIE as to his reasons for supposing the junks had been seized by the steamer, and he said he concluded they must have been seized as they were being towed by her; but that for anything he knew to the contrary, the steamer might have been assisting the junks on their voyage, but he did not think so.

A

* Not published.

( 95 )

Inspector MACKIE also informed me that no complaints had reached him from any of the Stanley fisherman of their junks having been captured.

The positions pointed out by Inspector MACKIE and the fisherman are in the waters of the Colony, and a vessel steering a straight course between either of them would be continuously in the waters of

the Colony.

Inspector MACKIE did not see any flag flying on board the steamer, nor is he able to identify either her or the junks.

H. G. THOMSETT, Esquire, R.N.,

Harbour Master.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your most obedient Servant,

J. P. MCEUEN,

Assistant Harbour Master.

The steamer and two junks were certainly within the waters of this Colony, but there is no reliable evidence as to what they were doing, nor does any one seem to be in a position to recognise the vessels.

Forwarded for the information of His Excellency the Governor.

19th November, 1879.

H. G. THOMSETT,

Harbour Master.

Minutes by His Excellency the Governor.

Let the Captain Superintendent inform Inspector MACKIE that he must be more careful in future. He ought to have stated in the first instance, what he seems to have admitted when questioned by the Acting Harbour Master, that no complaint whatever reached him on the subject.

J. POPE HENNESSY.

Seizure in British waters of a Salt junk by Chinese Cruiser.

SHAU-KI WAN,

SIR,

31st August, 1882.

I have the honour to forward you the following report for your information :—

LAU YEUNG, Master of the Wing Hing Tai, Salt Junk, (2,000 piculs capacity), reports that about 2 A.M. this morning, while lying at anchor of Ch'áiwán in British waters his junk was boarded by 5 or 6 men belonging to a launch from the Fatt'auchau Customs Station. They asked for his Salt License and when he showed it to them they ordered him to go and anchor at Fatt'auchau, but he refused saying he was in British waters.

They then took the Accountant SEE YEUNG by the queue, put him on board their launch, and steamed away in the direction of Fatt'auchau. He lowered a boat from his junk to come to Sháukiwán and report to the Police; the crew of the launch on seeing the boat lowered, turned back and put the Accountant on board his junk again.

W. M. Deane, Esquire,

Captain Superintendent of Police.

I have, &c., &c.,

(Signed)

A. MACKIE, Inspector.

( 96 )

Armed bands crossing into China with Opium to escape the Chinese Customs.

SHAU-KI WAN POLICE STATION,

22nd September, 1882.

SIR,

I have the honour to forward you the following report for your information. About 9.30 A.M. yesterday three small boats, unlicenced, 32, 36 and 38 piculs capacity respectively came into Sháukiwán Harbour with 2,066 balls of opium, value $12,200, on board, also a number of men mostly armed, who were engaged to smuggle the opium into Chinese territory. I detained the owners of the boats and opium pending instructions from you, but there being no Police case against them they were allowed to go by your order.

From enquiries made by me I find that the three boats in question were engaged to carry the opium from Victoria to Sháukiwán from thence to Ch'akwoling near Liümún Pass.

The boats and 150 men came to Sháukiwán on the 20th instant, and crossed over in small boats to Ch'akwoling on the morning of the 21st instant, they had not gone far from Ch'akwoling when they encountered about 50 men belonging to the Chinese Customs, several shots were exchanged, one of the Custom house men was killed and two wounded, the smugglers ran back to Ch'akwoling where they put the opium in the boats, and several of them crossed over to Sháukiwán and engaged a steam launch to bring the remainder. I am informed that this system of smuggling goes on regularly three, four and sometimes as often as six times a month, the places they land the opium at are Chun Wan, Chung Sha Wan, Shamshuipò, Ngan Tau Kok, Malautung, and Sha Tin.

The smugglers are always about 100 strong and are armed; each man receives $1 for every ball of opium he carries to T'ámshui; if they have an encounter with the Custom house men and escape they receive $2 per ball; when they meet the Custom House men 40 of them take the opium away leaving 60 to fight the Custom Officers.

I have the honour to be,

W. M. DEANE, Esq.,

&c.,

&c.,

&c.

Sir,

Your most obedient Servant,

A. MACKIE

Inspector.

SIR,

POLICE HULK, 22nd September, 1882.

1. I have the honour to report that in accordance with instructions received 21st instant, I visited Sháukiwán Police Station.

2. And there together with Inspector MACKIE investigated a case of smuggling of crude opium against the occupants of three boats.

3. I find the three boats in question are the ordinary (Hakka) fishing boats such as used in this harbour and that of Kaulung, Shamshuipò, &c.

4. There is not the slightest doubt but that the said boats were engaged for the purpose of smug- gling which is not in the least denied by the crew or others of the boats.

5. These boats left the harbour of Victoria at about 4 P.M. 20th instant for Sháukiwán, at which place they anchored for the night, leaving at 6.30 A.M. the following morning 21st for Ch'akwoling, near which place they were accosted by the Chinese Customs Officials, when they made a hasty retreat for Sháukiwán harbour for safety.

t

1

+

+

:

( 97 )

6. The boats upon measurement only come up to 32, 36 and 38 piculs respectively, and could not be deemed sea going junks within the meaning of Ordinance 8 of 1879, and I fail to see any Police case against them, the opium being crude only.

7. All of the men engaged in this smuggling, state that they procured the opium from the Kwong Sing Lung, Sang Lung, Min Yuen, Fuk Cheong, Kwong Lung Shing and Poo Tung Cheong, opium shops in Hongkong.

8. The quantity of crude opium amongst these men amounts to two hundred and eighty two large balls Patna, one thousand seven hundred and eighty four Malwa value about $12,000.

W. M. DEANE, Esq.,

Captain Superintendent of Police.

I am,

Sir,

Your most obedient Servant,

J. CRADOCK,

Inspector of Police.

No. 263.

SIR,

POLICE OFFICE,

HONGKONG, 22nd September, 1882.

I have the honour to report that in consequence of the following telegram, from Inspector MACKIE, Sháukiwán, 10.35 A.M., 21st September, 1882.

"Three boats containing $10,000 worth of opium came to Sháukiwán this morning, with about "100 men who were (i.e. had been) engaged to carry the opium over the hills to T'ámshui but were met opposite Sháukiwán by a number of Custom House Officers who chased them back to Sháukiwán. "The boats brought the opium from Victoria, did not take any clearance from the Harbour Office. "Awaiting instructions."

I sent Inspector CRADOCK to Shaukiwán with instructions to note particularly the size of the boats engaged; as, if they were not sea-going junks within the meaning of Section XXXVIII of Ordinance 8 of 1879, Sub-section I, I was unable to see in the face of the judgment of the Supreme Court in the appeal case LEUNG AYAU v. The QUEEN (vide Daily Press, 11th January, 1881), that any offence against the laws of this Colony could be proved.

The boats turned out to be vessels of so small a size that they could not be deemed sea-going.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Hon. F. STEWART, LL.D.,

Acting Colonial Secretary, &c., &c. &c.

Your most obedient Servant,

W. M. DEANE.

Cupt. Supt. of Police.

Report on Smuggling by J. Swanston Inspector at Sháukiwán.

SHAUKIWÁN POLICE STATION, 29th August, 1881.

SIR,

I have the honour to forward you the following information:-

During the last two weeks I have kept constant watch on all classes of boats leaving this harbour but failed to find any with opium on board.

It is a well known fact that a great deal of opium smuggling is carried on through the Liümún Pass, but from information received I can only trace a few balls as belonging to the Sháukiwán shop-

( 98 )

keepers, and that was sent away about two months ago in a passage boat for Nam O and every ball was cut up into 30 parts and then two or three parts were put in a bag containing picul of rice or paddy.

The principal way that opium is smuggled through the pass are by small boats about 25 to 80 piculs in capacity, they principally belong to a place called P'inghoi.

The boats are engaged by people in Victoria, especially by farmers who come to Hongkong with cattle, pigs, ducks, fowls, &c., and buy nothing else but opium which is put on board of the small boats which leave the harbour at any time during the day or night, seldom complying with the Harbour and Coast Ordinances, the course they steer is towards the channel rocks and wait there till a favourable opportunity, and then they cross over towards this harbour and get in under one land and keep so until they pass Cape D'Aguilar, if chase is given them, they run for the shore where they land the opium which is then returned to the owners, who principally reside in the Cattle or Pig lans as was shown in the last case reported here, namely, the Cape Collinson lighthouse case.

W. M. DEANE, Esquire.

SIR,

I have, &c.,

(Signed) J. SWANSTON,

Inspector.

Reports by Inspector Swanston from Stanley, on Seizure and Search in British waters by

Customs Cruiser.

STANLEY POLICE STATION,

25th February, 1883.

I have the honour to forward you the following report:-

At 7 A.M., this morning I boarded the Kam Sing Li trading junk, 300 piculs capacity, 4 of a crew, with no armament on board, lying at anchor in Stanley harbour, when the master KONG YUK IN made the following report:-

1

He states that he left Shamshuipò on the 23rd instant at 7 P.M., with 100 piculs of coal dust and 10 balls of opium, &c., on board, bound for Makong, about midnight he anchored outside Aberdeen, and at 11 A.M., next day he left for Stanley, and when near the shore at Wongmakòk about 5 P.M., a white painted steam launch which he can identify came alongside, 7 or 8 men then came on board and beat him and the other 3 men with bamboos, &c., and then took away the 10 balls of opium (Patna and Malwa) value $44.50, also 200 cash, 5 pieces sugar cane, total value $45, they also made him sign a paper to the effect that his junk was sailing at the Lama Island and that he was smuggling, and stating the number of balls of opium they took away, they then left and went in the direction of Potoi, while they came into the Stanley harbour.

The Master states that he did not anchor at any place in Victoria except Shamshuipò, and that he did not take out any papers from the Harbour Offices.

The Master and one of the crew have been severely beaten, and cannot walk, and the Master say he will be compelled to remain here until he gets well.

A white painted launch was seen passing Stanley about 5 P.M., yesterday going in the direction of Wongmakòk.

I am,

Sir,

Your obedient Servant,

J. SWANSTON,

Inspector.

W. M. DEANE, Esquire,

Captain Superintendent of Police.

&c.,

&Cor

&c.

1

I

SIR,

( 99 )

99)

STANLEY POLICE STATION,

17th March, 1883.

I have the honour to forward you the following report and a statement made by the Master of a trading junk:-

At 8.30 A.M., I noticed a white painted launch lying about 100 yards from a Chin Chiu junk in Stanley harbour, and which appeared to be hoisting their sails and a small boat lying under her stern, seeing that something was wrong, myself and 2 Police Constables went in the boat, but before we got to the place, the junk sailed towards the Lamma Channel, and the launch going towards Wongmakòk point, where another small junk was lying, in going near the place where the junk had been at anchor the launch turned round and went also in the direction of the Lamma Channel at half speed. I still sailed on, keeping well over to the Hongkong side, and when near the back of Aplichau the launch went full speed and close by the junk which was sailing near George's channel at the Lamma Islands, I then noticed a boat leaving the junk and go to the launch which steamed into Victoria about 11 A.M., the junk then turned and came over to Aberdeen, where the Master made the following statement, and which he also was told to report at Victoria as soon as he arrived, the junk left for Victoria at 12 noon.

LAM CHU CHEUNG, Master of the Kam Cheung Hing trading junk, about 500 piculs capacity, 6 of a crew, and armed with 4 pikes and had on board 430 piculs of salt, states that he anchored in Stanley harbour about 5 A.M. on the 16th instant from Swatow, and shortly afterwards a white painted launch passed his boat, as the launch passed, myself and the rest of the crew hauled up the anchor and were making sail intending to go in near the shore in Stanley harbour, when a small boat from the launch containing 6 men, each armed with a musket, came on board my junk and asked what was my cargo, I answered it was salt, when they shouted, lock them up, &c., they then seized the steersman and tied his hands with some hemp, they then beat all of us and put us down below and took our junk away. Some time after- wards we heard people shouting to the 6 men on deck, but what they said we could not tell as they spoke the Pun-Ti dialect, but shortly afterwards on looking on deck we saw that the 6 men had left and were going on board the launch which steamed away towards Victoria, we then sailed the junk towards Aberdeen harbour, during the time the men were on board they took from a box that was not locked $500 in silver.

When I left Swatow with my cargo of salt I paid $7 at the Custom House and I did not think I had to pay again.

W. M. DEANE, Esquire,

&c.,

80.9

&c.

I have, &c.,

(Signed)

J. SWANSTON,

Inspector.

Armed men with Opium for smuggling, question whether the Night Pass Ordinance applies to men carrying arms in any part of the Colony other than the City of Victoria.

No. 16.

SIR,

POLICE OFFICE,

HONGKONG, 24th January, 1883.

I have the honour to invite the attention of His Excellency the Administrator to the following Ex- tract from this day's Police Report, para. 10 :-

"27 Chinese have been arrested by the Police Launch No. 2 off Tsimshatsúi in a small Chinese "boat with one mast, each man heavily armed, and in the boat was found opium value $3,000, which they "all state they intended to smuggle into T'ámshui, charged with being at large in possession of deadly weapons." On board the boat was found 17 muskets, 13 revolvers, 12 of which were loaded, and on each prisoner were found rounds of ammunition.

66

( 100 )

2. The prisoners were charged under § XVIII of Ordinance 14 of 1870, with earrying deadly weapons not being owners of night passes, and the charge was dismissed by the Magistrate, (P. M. Case No. 520. .of 1847).

3. If there is no restriction on these heavily armed gangs of smugglers prowling about the waters, or other parts of the Colony than the City of Victoria, it is probable that some night there will be a deadly collision between them and the Police, who might well mistake them for a body of burglars or pirates.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your most obedient Servant,

Hon. F. STEWART, LL.D.,

Acting Colonial Secretary, $6.,

Fe..

ke.

W. M. DEANE,

Captain Superintendent of Police.

.

SIR,

Supplementary Letter from Mr. Creagh, explaining his Report on page 91.

HONGKONG, 21st April, 1883.

At the conclusion of the evidence which I gave on the 14th instant before the Commission appointed to inquire into the circumstances of the Opium Smuggling into China, the members of the Commission requested me to furnish written answers to some of the questions which had been asked in the course of the inquiry. Those questions, of which I made a note the same day, I will now answer seriatim; and I regret that an unusual press of work, on the eve of my departure from the Colosy, has prevented my giving earlier attention to this matter.

1. If smuggling was as common as you say, why were cases not reported more frequently by the Police?

Answer. It is a Police officer's duty, (i), (by virtue of his office) to discover and report offences against the laws of the Colony; (ii), (by Police regulations) he is required to ascertain and report injuries to roads telegraphs, &c.; (iii), (by local custom) he is expected to report any unusual occurrence which comes to his knowledge which he may consider of interest to the head of his department or to Government. As smuggling unaccompanied by breach of the Colonial laws does not come under either the first or second head, a Police Officer is under no obligation to make himself acquainted with the circumstances of the trade. And although under the third head an Officer might consider it proper to report any new phase of the traffic, or any case of smuggling accompanied by extraordinary circumstances which might have come to his knowledge, he probably would not (and in fact several Inspectors did not) report ordinary smuggling at all.

2. In your report of the 21st June, 1877, you say "naval engagements of this description have been witnessed from the shores of this Colony, and smugglers when worsted in the encounter have been known to fly to our waters for protection" you then instance a case which however did not occur in the sight of the Colony, but outside the Liümún. Why not mention a case in point if such cases were known?

Answer. The sentence quoted contains two assertions. The instance given was in illustration of the latter rather than the former of them. I probably did not consider it necessary to support the other statement, as I knew that some (and thought that most) old residents had observed the battles referred to.

3. In the same letter you said that vessels engaged in smuggling were specially constructed and equipped for that purpose, how did you gain this information?

Answer. I was informed they were specially constructed and armed for smuggling, and that they were faster than ordinary traders. I obtained this information from officers of the Chinese Customs, and in conversation with Inspectors of Police. From the latter I accepted no general statements, but inquired regarding particular vessels which I had seen at Yaumáti and other villages, and which they had boarded and inspected. I myself observed that the boats were apparently of a strong build, and that they carried a much larger crew than ordinary traders.

( 101 )

4. You mention in your letter that the vessels described were engaged in opium as well as in salt smuggling, are you sure that such was the case?

Answer All the vessels I myself saw were salt smugglers, but I understood a Customs officer (whose name I am not at liberty to disclose) to say that the same vessels carried opium also. The object of my letter being to rid the Colony of a dangerous class of criminals, it was not important to distinguish those who smuggled salt from others.

5. Is smuggling carried on now as it was when you wrote in 1877?

Answer. I have had but little opportunity for knowing what changes have taken place since then. Soon after writing that letter I was seconded from the Police. I held the post of Police Magistrate and Coroner until 1880, when I resigned those appointments and went to England for two years. Since my return in August last I have not made any special inquiries regarding smuggling, and have therefore gained very little imformation on the subject. I have however no reason to think that any material change has taken place, but I don't think large junks are often used for opium smuggling now. A detective Constable informed me a few weeks ago that there are several houses in Victoria in which contracts to smuggle salt are regularly made between owners of cargo and blockade runners. Last week I asked Sergeant WONG YAU about this, and he assured me that it was the case, and that many of the latter class are known to be pirates.

J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART, Esq.

I have the honour to be, Sir,

Your most obedient Servant,

C. V. CREAGH.

Extract from Police Morning Report of 28th March, 18°, relative to Opium Smuggling.

"P.C. 35, JONES, and P.C. 44, FORD, on duty in No. 2 Police Launch brought to Station at 10 P.M., "licensed passage boat No. 1154 (Master FUNG FAT) with 90 Chinese passengers, armed with Rifles and "Revolvers and found in possession of 550 balls of opium which they stated they were about to smuggle "into Támshui, Sergeant GOULD searched the boat for prepared opium but failed to find any. Men "released."

Extract from Police Morning Report of 11th April, 1883, relative to Opium Smuggling.

"12. P.C. 89, MURRAY brought three men to the Station in possession of a quantity of raw opium. "The men state that they left Victoria with 67 others, but on reaching Chinese territory they were met

by Chinese soldiers who fired at them, and caused them to retreat into British Kaulung."

Memorandum on the "Hongkong Blockade" for the information of

Governor Sir George Bowen, G.C.M.G.

By Mr. Justice Russell.

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What is termed the Blockade of Hongkong" had its origin in 1868, when the Viceroy of the Two Kwang, commonly called the Viceroy of Canton, established at Fat-tau Chau and Ch'éung-chau, the two Chinese Islands at the East and West entrances of the Harbour, Stations for the collection of Mekin, or "War-tax on Opium. The Viceroy complained to Her Majesty's Consul at Canton, the late Sir BROOKE ROBERTSON, that Opium was smuggled in great quantities into the Province, and that he was unable to collect the lekin, which it was his duty to collect. In answer to certain proposals, the Consul informed him that he had a complete right to establish Stations on the confines of British territory, and to overhaul every Chinese junk which left Hongkong. Consequently the Stations at the East and West entrances of the Harbour were put up in 1868—and Cruisers were attached to them to overhaul junks leaving the port, and compel the payment of the lekin tax, which no doubt had been often evaded.

2. The Hoppo, or Hai-kwan, as he is sometimes called, and who is charged with the collection in the Kwang Tung Province of "Regular Duties" of a Maritime Customs nature, on cargo shipped in Chinese as opposed to Foreign ships, seeing the success of the Viceroy's scheme, asked Sir BROOKE ROBERTSON if he also might establish Stations at the same points for the collection of Customs dues, both on exports from China and imports to it leaving Hongkong. The Consul approved of his suggestion. The Hoppo then ordered some powerful Steam-Cruisers and numerous Steam-Launches, and these with the Sailing Cruisers of the Stations, in conjunction with the Viceroy's Flotilla, overhauled all Chinese vessels entering and leaving the Harbour of Hongkong. A third Station was subsequently established at K'ap-shui Mun, at the entrance of the Canton River.

3. The Hoppo began to collect at these Stations in 1874. (See Consul's despatch to the Governor of 20th June, 1874, enclosing new Regulations). Before then it was necessary to obtain for dutiable goods leaving Hongkong in Junks what is called a "Grand Chop," and "Junks from various Prefectures when voyaging to Canton obtained 'Chops' from the ports in the neighbourhood of such Prefectures. Those going to out-ports either obtained their 'Grand Chop' at Canton or at the various ports of Kwang Tung."

4. To the honest trader this old system was obviously a great inconvenience, while the dishonest trader could easily evade the payment of duties, as there was no well organised preventive service. The Hoppo and Viceroy therefore agreed that duties might be col- lected and "Grand Chops" issued at the Viceroy's Stations East and West of the Harbour. And in June, 1874, a proclamation was issued ordering junk owners to pay duties at Ch'éung-chau or Fat-tau Chau, on exports to and on imports from Hongkong.

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5. One of the new Regulations was to the effect that if any dutiable goods were found on board without a duty certificate, after passing the Station on the way out or in, the junk and cargo would be liable to forfeiture; and this rule applied to passenger junks, if, even without the privity of the Master, some passenger had concealed unreported goods in his baggage.

6. The carrying out of this Regulation obviously led to much injustice and hard- ship, and there are numerous cases on record where the forfeiture of junk and cargo were caused by the passengers' smuggling, without any participation on the part of the owner of the junk.

7. The numerous rewards and large prizes given to the crews of the Cruisers naturally attracted a lot of unscrupulous men, who, in their own interest made out many an honest trader to be a Smuggler; and contraband goods were said to be frequently “planted” on junks leaving the Colony by spies and informers, who had them pounced upon by the Guard Ships when outside the waters of the Colony, and frequently within them too, so as to have the junks forfeited with a view to obtaining the plunder.

8. The Complaints of the Mercantile Community, in reference to the Hongkong Blockade, are recorded in two Blue-books, entitled "Correspondence relating to the 'Complaints of the Mercantile Community in Hongkong against the action of the Chinese "Revenue Cruisers in the neighbourhood of the Colony," and "Further correspondence "relating, &c." (See Command papers, 1189 of 1875 and 1628 of 1876).

9. Command paper 1189 contains about 50 pages, and opens with a despatch of the 10th July, 1874, from Governor Sir ARTHUR EDWARD KENNEDY, covering a petition to the QUEEN from certain Chinese Merchants, who pray for protection from seizure of vessels resorting to Hongkong, by armed vessels belonging to certain of the Chinese Authorities at Canton, and for other relief in respect of the junks which had been so seized. They point out that, when the Colony was established, Chinese were invited by proclamation to settle in it, and promised protection against interference with their trade.

10. The next important paper in this Blue-book is a despatch of the Governor, forwarding and commenting upon the Report of a Commission of Inquiry composed of the Honourable P. RYRIE, Mr. H. G. THOMSETT, R.N. and Mr. M. S. TONNOCHY, ON the complaints made by Chinese Traders on the illegal seizures, searches, and detention of their junks. The Commission shew beyond all doubt that there were undue searches, harassing interference, and unjust levies made on the Junk Trade of the Colony, but the only remedial measure they suggested was one which the Governor considered im- practicable, namely, to station armed vessels at the entrances of the Colony in order to prevent the Chinese Cruisers overhauling the junks which enter and leave the Harbour.

11. Then follow despatches from the Governor, some of which give further particulars of certain cases referred to in the Chinese Memorial. Another transmits a report of proceedings of a Public Meeting held to consider the Blockade of Hongkong, with resolutions condemning the action of the Hoppo and Viceroy, and calling upon Her Majesty's Government for protection against the invasion of the "Sanctuary of the Port." This Blue-book also contains despatches from the Colonial Office to the Foreign Office discussing the answers to be given to the Memorialists, and the remedies sug- gested by the Canton Consul and Hongkong Government; and there is also an important

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despatch to the effect that "H. M. Minister at Peking will be directed to call the attention of the Chinese Government to the interference with the Junk Trade of Hong- kong."

12. This Blue-book winds up with a despatch dated 22nd March, 1875, to the Gov- ernor as to the reply to be given to the Chinese Petitioners; to the leaders of the Public Meeting; and to the Chamber of Commerce. The Secretary of State clearly lays down that the Chinese Government had a perfect right to establish the Stations where they had placed them, to overhaul Chinese craft at sea or in Chinese waters in search of Smug- gled opium or other goods; but that representations would be made to the Chinese Government to render these searching operations less vexatious and harassing than they

had been heretofore.

13. Blue-book No. 2, contains forty pages, and is a continuation of the same subject. The Hongkong Government calls attention to further abuses of the Customs Cruisers. This parliamentary paper also shews that the Chinese Native Customs have no fixed tariff, or at all events will not produce it or publish it. It also shews that cotton and other Foreign goods sent from Hongkong to the Southern Prefectures are much more heavily taxed than the same goods sent from Macao, thus placing Hongkong at a dis- advantage with Macao as a port of trade. It is also shewn here that the duty on Sugar entering Hongkong by Junks is much higher than what is levied at ports of China or at Macao, and that goods which had obtained the "Grand Chop" after payment of all duties at one of the local Stations pointed out by the Viceroy and Hoppo, had to pay them over again at the port of entrance. The Colonial Office points out moreover that goods are made, by the Canton Authorities, to pay duty both of export and import, as if Hongkong were a port of China. Against this Lord CARNARVON protests.

14. The unfairness of the taxation, the breach of faith, if not hostile action of the Chinese Customs towards the Hongkong Junk Trade as compared with their treatment of that of Macao, was fully shewn in a paper written by me in October, 1874, and published in Command paper 1628 of 1876. At the request of Governor KENNEDY, in 1876, I investigated at considerable length the question of what duties were payable between Hongkong and the ports in the lower Prefectures, as well as between Hongkong and the ports in the Fo-kien province and Formosa. That document was not published in deference to the request of the Chinese who gave the information, and who made it a condition that their names should not be divulged, for fear of involving them in trouble with the Chinese officials. The enclosures are very instructive, as shewing the Chinese methods of levying dues on their great rivers and at the out-ports. (See C.S.O., 1769 of 1876, and Governor KENNEDY's despatch of 6th August, 1876).

Proceedings after the Chefoo Convention of 1876.

15. The arrangement made by Sir THOMAS WADE in the Chefoo Convention, Septem- ber 13th, 1876, marks a new departure in the history of the Blockade question. By that Convention it was agreed (Section III, Article 7,) "to appoint a commission to consist "of a British Consul, an Officer of the Hongkong Government, and a Chinese official of "equal rank in order to the establishment of some system that shall enable the Chinese "Government to protect its revenue without prejudice to the interests of the Colony."

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16. On his way to England, in the end of 1876, Sir THOMAS WADE addressed a letter to Governor KENNEDY, 29th November, 1876, stating what he had done with a view to relieve the junk trade of the Colony from the continual harassing searches of the Chinese Cruisers of which it complained. In that letter he nominates Sir BROOKE ROBERTSON as the Consular Commissioner under the Convention, and proceeds to point out that the remedy most desired by the Colony, namely, the publication of a tariff at the three Stations, would do little to relieve the pressure on the trade. “I am persuaded," he states, "that as long as the Stations in question remain where they are, their action will be always vexatious, often, perhaps, unjust." But he adds, what was never denied, that the Chinese Authorities have a right to place them where they are. His remedy is "to get rid of the obnoxious Stations," and to invite the establishment of a Branch of the Foreign Customs Inspectorate either in a hulk in the harbour, or at a Station upon the shore of China forming the North side of the port, east of the Colony's ground on the Kau-lung promontory. Sir THOMAS WADE preferred the latter alterna- tive.

17. Sir THOMAS WADE assumes that the Tariff would be the same as the Tariff of 1858, under the Treaty of Tientsin, which is the Tariff for British-ship-carried goods, and that lekin on opium might be levied at the same time. The junk trade, he says, would gain by having Foreign instead of Native inspection. "The Cruiser service would "of course still be required, but the offensiveness would be diminished, and the Colony and "the Provincial Government would be spared 90 per cent. of the irritating discussions.'

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18. In brief, Sir THOMAS WADE states:--The publication of a Tariff which you want would serve you little, but get rid of the three Stations, and let a Branch of the Foreign Inspectorate, situate outside the boundary, control everything, give the Chinese Government help by seeing that junks entering and leaving the harbour go and pay duty; and let them keep the Cruisers.

19. On this letter Sir ARTHUR KENNEDY wrote a minute, recording his own per- sonal views, and the instructions which he thought the Hongkong Commissioner should receive. He had at one time thought of a Branch of the Foreign Inspectorate, even in the Colony, but he abandoned that idea as interfering with the prestige of the Government. (See Proceedings of Council, 7th July, 1876.) His personal views under date of 2nd December, 1876, are thus recorded:-

·

"Points for Colonial Officer to insist on

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"(1.) Authenticated publication of Tariff by Chinese Government."

(2.) Where and to whom the duties so fixed are to be paid.

(3.) A mixed tribunal of officers of the Chinese and Hongkong Government to be appointed for the investigation of all disputed cases of seizure, such court to be open and their proceedings duly recorded.

20. If these conditions were accepted, the Governor, "in proof of good faith, and to discourage law-breakers," was prepared to recommend that any breach of Chinese Customs laws should be investigated before a Magistrate, and if a prima facie case were proved, that rendition should be made to the Chinese Government.

21. I had the honour of being selected by Sir ARTHUR KENNEDY to represent the Hongkong Government, and had therefore full opportunity of knowing His Excellency's opinions. The essential requirements, in the Governor's view, were the publication of a fixed tariff, and a mixed tribunal with duly recorded proceedings.

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22. In pursuance of the Chefoo arrangement, and as one of the Commissioners, Sir BROOKE ROBERTSON drew up 7 propositions as a basis of conference on the Blockade question (Appendix A.) They were discussed at a meeting of Executive Council attended by the un-official members of the Legislative Council and myself, but not approved of, as the new Station was considered an additional burden without any corresponding advantage to the trade.

23. Counter propositions were drawn up by the Government as a basis of conference, and, as appears from a despatch of Governor HENNESSY to the Secretary of State, that basis was sent to Sir BROOKE ROBERTSON. A good deal of discussion subsequently took place as to whether the un-official members of Council, Mr. Lowcock and Mr. KESWICK, assented to the Hongkong basis. At all events the illness of Sir BROOKE in January prevented any meeting of the Commission from taking place, and Sir ARTHUR KENNEDY wrote to that effect on the 28th February, 1877, forwarding at the same time to the Secretary of State the two proposals. The Hongkong Government proposal is annexed (Appendix B.)

History of the Blockade question under Governor Hennessy, from 1877.

24. Sir JOHN POPE HENNESSY arrived in April, 1877, as Governor of the Colony, and an opportunity was soon afforded to him of dealing with a case of smuggling which occurred in the time of Sir ARTHUR KENNEDY, but the discussion of which with the Canton Government had not been completed. It was as follows:-

25. In 1876 a Junk with Opium had been fired upon in British waters by a Revenue Cruiser, dragged from the coast at Cape d'Aguilar, and towed to the Fat-tau Mún Station. The Junk had a large quantity of Opium on board. Sir ARTHUR KENNEDY demanded the restoration of the Junk and Cargo, an apology from the Viceroy, and dismissal of the Officer in charge of the Cruiser who had thus invaded our waters and territory. It was June or July, 1877, before the Opium was restored and compensation allowed for the forfeited and sold Junk. Governor HENNESSY resolved not to give up the Opium and Cargo to the owners, because the Junk had left the anchorage without a proper clearance, and from that time forward, with the view of assisting the Chinese in the collection of their duties, His Excellency gave instructions that, in case of complaints by Hongkong Junks of seizures either in the waters of the Colony or outside, inquiry should in the first instance be made whether the Junk had properly cleared as required by the Harbour and Coasts Ordinance 6 of 1866-an Ordinance which was established for putting down piracy, rampant at that time, the Harbour itself being quite a rendezvous for piratical craft. (See Sir R. G. MACDONNELL'S despatch forwarding the Ordinance to Secretary of State, and the Attorney General's (Mr. PAUNCEFOTE) opinion on the Ordinance, shewing that 3 Foreign vessels had been followed from the Harbour and attacked outside, No. 111 of 28th August, 1866.) It the Junk had been guilty of any infringement for not reporting or obtaining a clearance, the Master was to be charged, and forfeiture of Junk and Cargo took place. This, of course, was a strong measure, and the Governor soon reported to the Colonial Office that complaints had ceased. The Secretary of State sanctioned the employment of this Ordinance for the suppression of smuggling, although the pains and penalties of forfeiture were only intended to attach to breaches of Harbour Regulations where piracy was in contemplation. The undersigned ventures with very great respect to think that if the Colonial Office had been made fully

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acquainted with the object of the legislation of 1866, the Secretary of State would not have approved of the employment of such a law for the protection of the Revenue of a Foreign State, when the said law was passed for a purpose totally different, and with the object of suppressing almost the worst kind of crime, namely, piracy. It is hardly necessary to state that it is not unlawful here, however immoral, for persons to smuggle from Hongkong, but if it is desirable to make it unlawful-and under the circumstances of the place perhaps it is-I respectfully submit that an enactment should be passed for that purpose, instead of using a law the penalties under which are necessarily most severe.

26. On the 6th September, 1877, Governor HENNESSY wrote to the Secretary of State, commenting on Sir ARTHUR KENNEDY's personal views of the Blockade question, and objecting to his suggestion of the rendition of smugglers, whilst repeating that he would prefer to enforce the provisions of Ordinance 6 of 1866, with the addition of a regulation that Cargo from Junks should not be unloaded in the Harbour without production of a clearance from the Chinese Customs to the Harbour Master.

27. On the 8th November, 1877, the Secretary of State replied that he could not agree to the suggestion that Junks without clearance papers should not be allowed to unload in the Harbour. Some negotiation seems to have gone on between the Governor and Sir BROOKE ROBERTSON, with a view to a settlement before His Excellency wrote that despatch of September to the Secretary of State. Sir BROOKE apparently suggested a modification of his former basis, but the principal change was that recom- mended by the Governor, namely, the driving away from the Harbour of all junks which had no clearance from the Chinese Authorities.

28. In March, 1878, I learned from a very reliable authority, connected with the Customs at Canton, that the Hoppo and Viceroy had suggested certain Rules and submitted them to the Governor through the Consul. There is apparently no record of them at the Colonial Secretary's Office, and I therefore submit them, as I believe they are important in the history of the question :-

"(1°) (Said to be now in existence since the present Hoppo came). That when

"a Cruiser examined a Junk's Cargo and Papers the Cruiser's Commander "should stamp them, and if so stamped, the Junk would be passed "without delay if met by another Cruiser unless the vessel had been at a "new port.

"(2°) That if contraband goods are found in a passenger ship, the goods “should be taken and the vessel allowed to go on, just as is done on the "Canton Steamers, that is, passengers' contraband luggage for which "the Junk is not responsible would be taken. (The Rule is to forfeit "Junk and Cargo)."

"(3) That the tariff should be published at Ch'éung-chau and Fat-tau Chau."

"(4) In case of an appeal in the event of seizure and punishment by the Hoppo, "a reference should be made to a party, Chinese, to be named by the

Viceroy, which is thus outside the Hoppo."

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29. The gentleman who supplied these rules to me stated that Governor HENNESSY would not assent to them, and he further added that the Hoppo said that "there never could be any objection to the publication of a tariff.”

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30. Sir BROOKE ROBERTSON left for England soon afterwards, and the next despatch is one by the Governor to the Secretary of State, 31st May, 1879, in which he discusses the basis of settlement drawn up by Sir BROOKE ROBERTSON, and that of the Hong- kong Government referred to already-and again objects to the personal view of Sir ARTHUR KENNEDY as to rendition of smugglers. He adds that he is using the Ordinance 6 of 1866 for suppression of Smuggling, although the Attorney General (Mr. PHILLIPPO) opposed that course on legal grounds, and he communicates a resolution of the Executive Council to prohibit the export of Salt, and asks to be allowed to legislate. He further announces that he had prohibited the export of munitions of war by proclamation, under an old Ordinance in existence, and that he has a scheme. founded on the Singapore Opium Legislation, but that it would be premature to unfold the details until Sir THOMAS WADE had had an opportunity of consulting the Govern- ment of China on the following paper of proposals, the contents of which are:-

(1o) Abolish present Stations.

(2o) Chinese Cruisers to cease to overhaul Junks.

(30) Junks to pay all duties at ports except on Salt, Opium, and Munitions

of War.

(4) That Salt, Opium, and Munitions of War are not to be exported in future to the Coast of China, except to the Chinese Authorities or to lawfully appointed Chinese Agents.

(5°) That, as regards Opium, it is not to be exported to the Coast of China in any junk that has not a clearance paper shewing that the tariff duty has been duly paid to a lawfully appointed Agent of the Chinese Government. He adds" Mr. HART approves of this scheme, and Sir THOMAS Wade will give up his own in its favour."

31. On the 7th November, 1879, the Secretary of State replies that the Governor proposed :-

(1o) Chinese Customs Officers in Hongkong.

(20) Collection of Chinese taxes on British territory.

The Secretary of State observed that there are grave objections to both these proposals; that smuggling would not cease by Cruisers simply ceasing to overhaul junks. He also points out that the Hongkong Government would have to take on itself the duty of watching the Smugglers, or permit the evasion of the new laws which are proposed to be enacted. The prevention of smuggling would cause expense to the Colony, and throw a responsibility on it which it should not assume. The evasion of new laws would lead to constant complaints by the Chinese Government, and would soon be followed by a renewal of the present system of Blockade.

32. On the 26th December, 1879, the Governor again writes to the Secretary of State to the effect that the Chinese assured him if the Junks were not harassed by the Stations and Cruisers the junk trade would increase four-fold in two years, and again submits a basis of settlement of the Blockade question on which he asks to be allowed to negotiate with the Viceroy, as Sir THOMAS WADE had told Mr. HEWLETT, the British Consul at Canton, to put himself in communication with the Governor of Hongkong on the question.

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33. These propositions are almost identical with those of 31st May, 1879, and are as follow:-

(a.) That Chinese Customs Stations, where duties are now levied, be abolished. (b.) That Junks trading with Hongkong pay duty at ports of entry or clearance according to usual tariff, except Salt, Opium, and Munitions of War.

(c.) That the Cruisers cease to overhaul junks from or to Hongkong.

(d.) That, as regards, Salt, Opium, or Munitions of War, they are not to be exported in future to the Coast of China in native junks except under a permit from the Chinese Authorities.

34. The foregoing proposals were sent to the Foreign Office and elicited criticisms to the following effect:-

(1o) That the basis presented many difficulties, and it was doubtful if the

Chinese Government would receive it.

(20) If the Government of Hongkong undertook to prevent Salt, Opium, and Munitions of War from being taken from the Colony without a permit the prestige of the Government would be lowered in the eyes of the native community, and it was doubtful if such an undertaking could be effectively carried out as long as there is free sale in the Colony, without the maintenance of an expensive British Revenue Service, and the establishment of a British instead of a Chinese Blockade.

(3) If the Chinese gave way to the other conditions they would jeopardise the whole of their native revenue. They could not be expected to accede to these propositions, abandoning the right of search and doing away with the three Stations at the entrance of the Harbour, as they would have no means of watching hundreds of miles of Coast.

The Governor is then instructed not to treat with the Viceroy except through the Consul, and, for the present, not at all, as Sir THOMAS WADE is treating at Peking.

Grievances complained of in the Blockade of Hongkong-Basis of Settlement suggested.

35. The Mercantile community complains of the following grievances inter alia; and the Government and Secretary of State consider them well founded:--

(1.) That the Cruisers of the Chinese Authorities and the Officers of the three Native Stations at the Throat Gates of the Colony exact undue and illegal rates from the junk trade of the Colony.

(2.) That goods of Foreign Origin sent to the West Coast of China and to non-treaty places are made to pay much higher rates of duty when shipped in Hongkong Junks than when shipped from Macao; so that it pays the Hongkong Trader to send his goods first by steamer to Macao And thence in junks, instead of sending them direct from Hongkong.

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(3.) That Chinese goods sent to Hongkong are made to pay dues which are arbitrary and uncertain in amount, and always in excess of what is believed to be right, for no tariff is published or rule adhered to, and traders who have left one Province and paid all dues, are made to pay

for entrance to Hongkong as if it were a port of China. This is shown in the case of Formosan traders.

(4.) The discussions between the Macao Chinese merchants and the Rice Commissioner Kwo, and the Hongkong Chinese merchants in 1876 shew that no fixity of rate is known, and that Hongkong trade is heavily handicapped. (See command paper 1628 of 1876, pages 17-18, and C.S.O. 1769 of 1876).

(5.) Goods sent to the Philippines, &c., are not so heavily taxed as the same

goods sent to Hongkong.

(6.) That cruisers flying the Chinese Customs Flag collect what is called the Harbour and Coast defence tax upon Opium, and when complaints are made to the Viceroy about their seizing junks in the harbour, he says they are the property of a monopolist of the tax and not under his control, e.g. Le-t'sap and four others. (See Mr. Consul HEWLETT's letters of 22nd June and 27th August, 1880, and list of seizures in one year in our waters. Appendix C. and C.).

(7.) Open levy in the Colony of all kinds of duty upon Opium. (See

Appendix D.).

(8.) Salt tax is levied on the fishermen of the Colony by a depôt in the Colony. Fishermen are required to take out warrants from the Salt farmers for the Salt which they take from Hongkong for salting fish at sea. A couple of Cruisers levy the tax in the waters of the Colony. This has been known since 1868, but was stopped by Sir R. G. MACDONNELL. This is a tax on the consumer of fish in the Colony. (See Registrar General's letters, Appendix E.)

(9.) The forfeiture of a junk and cargo if smuggled goods are found among passenger's luggage is against natural justice, if so smuggled without the knowledge or by connivance of the Master.

36. In the various proposals made by Sir THOMAS WADE, the essential one was "the getting rid of the three Obnoxious Stations." He also again and again pointed out the importance of securing that "the jurisdiction of the Colony must not be invaded "by Cruisers pursuing and capturing junks within the waters of the Colony." As has been already stated, Sir THOMAS WADE gave as the reason for getting rid of the Native Stations, that the dues demanded of the junks by the Chinese collectors would be in excess of what would be just.

His scheme as finally matured would seem to stand thus:-

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(1.) That the Chinese Government should shut up the three Stations at the entrance of the Harbour, and in their place establish a Branch of the Foreign Inspectorate near the Colony.

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(2.) That this Station should collect from junks the Tariff duty on imports going in them to treaty ports, and Tariff duty and half on imports taken in them to points on the Coast or up rivers, not treaty ports.

(3.) That the tax upon opium should be levied with the same lekin as it

would pay at Canton.

(4.) That every junk arriving or leaving should call at the new Station and

get a clearance; the Colonial Government assisting in some way.

37. The undersigned ventures to think that, as the Chinese have a complete right by international law to keep the Stations where they are, the Colony should not trouble itself further about their removal, but should seek to have their administration made more honest, and a better class of officers and men appointed to the Cruisers.

38. Probably, therefore, a modified form of Sir BROOKE ROBERTSON's Basis might meet the views of the Mercantile Community of Hongkong, and the Hongkong and the Chinese Governments, thus :-

(1.) With regard to the collection of duties and War-tax, Salt-tax, Hoi-fong, or any other kind of duty on junks or other Chinese Craft entering and clearing from Hongkong, it is proposed that the Viceroy of the Two Kwang should in conjunction with the Hoppo of Canton appoint two fitting persons as. his deputies, one a Chinese and one an Englishman, to superintend the collection, and that a Customs Station be established in a convenient place near British Kau-lung to collect dues, and issue clearances and receipts, whether on Native exports from China or Foreign imports from Hongkong.

(2.) That masters of Junks may appeal to these deputies against any hardship they have to complain of, and that their complaints shall be at once investigated.

(3.) After the establishment of the new Station all junks clearing from Hong- kong with cargo shall hand in manifests to and pay duty at the new Station, and shall receive clearances; the junk shall then be examined at Kap-shui Mun, Fat-tau Mún, or Ch'éung-chau, to see that the cargo cor- responds with the manifest, unless such examination is dispensed with under written authority, where a guarantee has been given against smuggling. (4.) That, assuming the said three Stations are retained, all unsecured junks coming to Hongkong shall stop at one or other of the Stations for exami- nation and payment of export dues from the Chinese port of departure if such are unpaid, but no dues shall be demanded from Junks coming to Hongkong from Chinese ports save such export duties as are payable at the respective ports of clearance.

(N.B.-This is to prevent Hongkong being treated as a port of China). (5.) That all Revenue Cruisers of every description, whether steamers or sail- ing craft, shall be entirely under the jurisdiction of the new duty Station, and shall be supplied with a special flag, and their crews dressed in a special uniform. Any junk they capture must be forwarded to the new duty Station that the case may be examined into by the two Deputies, who will publicly inquire whether she is guilty of smuggling or not, and duly record the proceedings.

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6.) If, after a seizure has been effected by the new Station, a complaint is lodged with the Hongkong Authorities, or if the Junk belongs to Hongkong, in which event, notice shall be given to the Hongkong Government by the Station, it shall be competent for the Colonial Government to appoint an officer to proceed to the Station to make inquiries, and in conjunction with the deputy or deputies, to summon witnesses and jointly investigate the matter and settle it on a fair basis. If the Hongkong Official cannot agree with the officer or officers of the new Station, each must report the matter to the Hongkong Government and Viceroy respectively, with a view to settlement through the medium of the British Consul at Canton. The decision in every case shall be récorded and published.

(7.) There shall be published a tariff of all dues and duties leviable on goods exported or imported in Chinese junks, and at what other places and to whom to be paid, besides the new Customs Station.

(8.) That no duties shall be levied by any monopolist, such as that of coast defences, but only by responsible Officials of the Chinese Government under the new duty Station; and that if it is proved that either illegal or excessive duties have been levied by the Officials at any collectorate, the Chinese Government will refund, and dismiss or otherwise punish the offenders.

(9.) The Chinese Government should also guarantee that no further levies shall be made at the port of destination after obtaining the "Grand Chop" and that any official demanding extra dues at the port of entry shall be punished.

(10.) The Hongkong Government will undertake on its part to give all the support it can to assist the Chinese Government in giving effect to these rules for obtaining its legitimate revenue, but it cannot permit the cap- ture in or carrying away of any Junks from its waters.

39. It will be seen that I suggest that all taxes should be collected at the new duty Station, and that the Englishman should not be subordinate to, but of co-ordinate rank with the Chinese deputy. I think these are, necessary changes in Sir BROOKE ROBERTSON's first requirement. As to the 3rd proposal, it is now the custom for certain well-known trading junks to be guaranteed, and they are thus allowed to pass the Stations without coming to. The 4th proposal is a combination of the 3rd and 4th propositions of the Hongkong Basis. The 5th gives effect to the views of Sir Arthur KENNEDY and Sir BROOKE RORERTSON. The 6th is a combination of Sir BROOKE'S and the Hongkong Government 6th proposals. The 7th is most essential. The 8th and 9th proposals should duties collected at the new Station

be strongly pressed, otherwise any agreement to have would be simply agreeing to pay so much more. How the Government will assist is

a matter of detail, but it has the machinery ready, ratory Ordinance to apply it,

Hongkong, 26th August, 1883.

and only requires a short decla-

J. RUSSELL.

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Supplementary Minute on the levy of Taxes by the Chinese Authorities on the Fishing

Trade of the Colony-Establishment of a depôt within the Colony.

In 1868 it was brought to the knowledge of the Hongkong Government that two armed Cruisers, called No. 1 and No. 2, and only known by these designations, were in the habit of visiting the ports of the Colony, and collecting a tax for the San-On Salt Farmer. The fishermen of this Colony were called upon to take licences from the Cruisers, and the rate levied was said to be $2.50 for a licence allowing a junk to have on board 100 piculs of salt. The whole facts will be found recorded in C.S.O. 91, C.S.O. 98, Memo. of Governor MACDONNELL, C.S.O. 144, C.S.O. 204A, of 1868, and also in Governor MACDONNELL'S despatches to the Secretary of State, No. 473 of 7th April, 1868, and No. 604 of 28th October, 1868. The Governor protested, through the British Consul at Canton, against the unwarrantable acts of these Cruisers, entering our ports and collecting taxes from the fish-trade, and pointed out in one of his despatches that Mr. Ho A-LOI had attempted to establish a Salt Depôt for the issuing of licences in the Colony, a proceeding which could not be allowed. The Viceroy of Canton, in 1869, issued certain proclamations in reference to illegal Cruisers, and nothing more was heard for a time.

The history of the improper seizure of Hongkong Fishing Junks, for not having proper licences from the Salt Farmer, is part of the history of the Blockade question, and it now appears from reports of the Registrar General of the 26th April, and 9th May, that since the end of last year a branch establishment of the San-On Salt Farm exists on the Praya. It is called the Yan-wo T'ong. There are a couple of Cruisers under its orders, called No. 1 and No. 2, probably the same as levied similar taxes 15 years ago. It will be seen from the Registrar General's Report (See Appendix E.), that a license was bought at the Yan-wo T'ong office in May, for $5. The form of licence is shown in that report. As His Excellency is aware, a reference, through the British Consul at Canton to the Viceroy has been made, calling for explanati ons as to the right of the Salt Farmers to levy taxes in British territory, or to collect taxes from the Hong- kong Salt Fish trade. In all probability the depôt will be disowned, and the Cruisers alleged to be out of the Viceroy's jurisdiction.

There is, however, something to be said about the fishing boats, which salt their fish at sea having permits. If they had 100 piculs of salt they might evade the Salt Commissioners' tax, which is a heavy one. I believe it amounts to $1.50 per 120 catties. That is $1.50 for 13 piculs.

1

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28th August, 1883.

J. RUSSELL.

ī

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Appendix A.

HONGKONG BLOCKADE QUESTION-PROPOSED BASIS

OF SETTLEMENT.

BY THE LATE SIR BROOKE ROBERTSON, K.C.M.G., C.B.

1. With regard to the collection of duties and war-tax on vessels entering and clearing from Hongkong, it is proposed that the Viceroy of the Two Kwang should, in conjunc- tion with the Superintendent of Customs, Canton, appoint a fitting person as his deputy to generally superintend this matter. It is further proposed that a Customs Station shall be established as near as possible to the boundaries of the British territory some- where in the neighbourhood of Kau-lung, to make the levies and to issue clearances and receipts.

2. That the Viceroy of the Two Kwang shall in conjunction with the Superintendent of Customs, Canton, appoint an Englishman as an Officer to assist at the new Station.

The collection of duties and war-tax to be under the joint surveillance of the Chinese wei-yuan and Foreign Assistant, under the direction of the former.

3. After the establishment of the new Station, all junks clearing from Hongkong with cargo shall hand in manifests to and pay duty at the new Station, and shall receive clearances; the junk shall then be examined at Kap-shui Mun, Fat-tau Chau, or Chang Chau, as the case may be, to see that the cargo corresponds with the manifest.

Junks proceeding to Hongkong shall also stop at the three Stations above mentioned to have their Goods examined and to be given clearances, and shall then proceed to the new duty Station to pay such duties as may be due.

4. That all Revenue Cruisers of every description, whether steamers or sailing junks, are to be entirely under the jurisdiction of the new duty Station. These cruisers shall be supplied with a special flag, and their crews shall be dressed in a special uniform. Any junk they capture must be forwarded to the new duty Station to be examined by the Deputy and Foreign Assistant, who will enquire whether she is guilty of smuggling or

not:

5. That if any Chinese residing in the Colony is suspected of smuggling, a report of the circumstances shall be made to the Viceroy, who will communicate it to the Hong- kong Government.

6. If after a seizure has been effected by the new Station, a complaint is lodged with the Hongkong Authorities, it shall be competent for the Colonial Government to appoint an Officer to proceed to the Station to make enquiries, and in conjunction with the new duty Station, to summon witnesses, jointly investigate the matter, and settle it on a fair basis. If the British Official cannot agree with the Officers of the new Station, and therefore the case cannot be settled, each must report the matter to the Hongkong Government and the Viceroy respectively.

7. That the Tariff of dues and duties leviable on Chinese junks shall be published for general information, as also the penalties to be inflicted in case of any breach of Customs Regulations.

-

Appendix B.

BLOCKADE OF HONGKONG:

Proposed Basis of Settlement by the Hongkong Government, in 1877.

1. That the three Throat Gate Stations shall be retained for collection of duties

and war-tax, and delivery of receipts and clearances.

2. That junks clearing from Hongkong shall hand in manifests, pay duties, and receive clearances at one or other of such Stations.

3. That junks coming to Hongkong shall stop at one or other of such Stations for examination and payment of export duties, from port of clearance, if such have not been already paid.

4. That no dues whatsoever shall be demanded from junks coming to Hongkong from ports in China, save such export duties as are payable at the respective ports of clearance.

5. That a tariff of dues and duties leviable on goods shipped by Chinese Junks from Hongkong shall be agreed upon and published, as also the penalties for Breach of Customs Regulations.

6. That on any seizure being made it shall be forthwith reported to the Hongkong Government, which may appoint an Officer to inquire into the merits of the case jointly

with an Officer appointed by the Viceroy. If these two cannot agree, one of Her Majesty's Judges at Hongkong shall be nominated by the Governor to investigate the matter and decide finally thereon.

7. That all Revenue Cruisers shall be under the jurisdiction of the Officer duly accredited to this Government for such special service.

4

&

*

T

1879.

Aug. (H&P)

C.S O. Zz27.

C.S.O. 2239.

Nov. 13. (P) C.S.O. 2976.

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Appendix C.

PRECIS OF C.S.O.'s DOCUMENTS RELATING TO SEIZURES BY CUSTOMS CRUISERS

FROM AUGUST, 1879 TO JUNE, 1880.

Drawn up by Acting Colonial Secretary in 1880.

[P=reported by Police. H-reported by Harbour Department.]

Junks Wing Yin and Fat On.

The Hongkong Police say they were boarded in British Waters. The Chinese Authorities deny this.

Two Junks unknown.

Seizure reported as seen by Inspector Mackie at Stanley. Acting Harbour Master reported that the places pointed out by the Inspector were in British Waters. No complaint made in this case.

Dec. 11. (P) C.S.O. 3199.

Dec. 13. (H) C.S.O. 3217.

Dec. 15. (H) C.S.O. 3238.

Junk Kam Hop Fát.

Complaint made that she was boarded by a Customs Launch at the mouth of Aberdeen Harbour, and towed towards Little Hongkong. Opium, Satin, &c., removed from the Junk. The Chinese Authorities . denied the seizure.

Salt Junk Kwang Li.

Reported as seized by a Chinese Cruiser in British Waters. Harbour Master reports that the seizure was in British Waters. Papers sent to Consul.

Particulars taken from Register. C.S.O. 3217 not on file.

Junk Hop Li.

Complaint made that she was seized in British Waters. Papers sent to the British Consul at Canton. The Chinese authorities replied that it was a breach of the Treaty to clear a salt-laden junk bound for the mainland.

Particulars taken from Register. C.S.O. 3238 not on file.

1880.

Jan. 5. (H) C.S.O. 30. C.S.O. 1135.

Junk Kam Hip Fat.

Complaint made of seizure in British Waters. Harbour Master reports that she was seized in British Waters. Papers sent to Consul. The Chinese Authorities deny that any seizure was made.

Ap. 20 (H)

C.S.O. 947.

Junks 67 and 804.

Reported as having been boarded in British Waters. Papers sent to Consul.

C.S.O. 947 not on file.

Ap. 21. (P&H)

C.Š.O. 960.

C.S.O. 961.

May 16. (P) C.S.O. 1183.

Junk unknown.

Customs Launch seizes a junk 700 yards South East of Cape d'Aguilar. No exact information as to junk obtained. A letter is sent to H.B.M. Consul, Canton.

Boat seized in Harbour. Six men of the cruiser Li Ching convicted at the Supreme Court.

C.S.O. No. 1183 not on file.

May 29-31. (P & H) C.S.O. 1261.

C.S.O. 1499.

Junk Tak Shing Li.

Boarded by the Li Ts'ap in British Waters. H.B.M. Consul, Canton, is informed. The Viceroy says the Li Ts'ap is not a Government vessel, but the property of "a trader who has undertaken the monopoly of the Opium Coast Defence Tax."

C.§.O. 1261 not on file.

}

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}

Appendix C.

PRECIS OF CASES REPORTED TO HARBOUR DEPARTMENT,

FROM AUGUST 1879 TO JUNE 1880.

No.

Date.

Precis of Contents.

189 C.S.0.2239

1879. Aug. 14

Junks Wing Yin and Fat On.-Reporting the boarding of, by a Customs Cruiser in British waters. Harbour Master of opinion that Master of Junk's story is true.

C.S.O. 2976 Nov. 13 Forwarding Report from Inspector MACKIE of Stanley as to why he thinks a certain Cruiser seized a certain Junk in British waters. Not sufficient evidence.

C.S.O. 3217 Dec. 13

C.S.O. 3238 Dec. 15

CO

3

77

78

102 C.S.O. 1261

1880. Jan.

5

Petition to recover the Kwong Li, Salt Junk, alleged to have been seized by a Chinese Cruiser in British waters. Place pointed out by Junk Master is in British waters.

Petition to reclaim the Hop Li, Salt Junk, seized by a Revenue Cruiser in

British waters. Captured in Victoria Harbour.

Junk Kam Hip Fat.-Alleged seizure of 20 balls Opium, &c., by a Chinese Cruiser in British waters. Forwarding Minutes of evidence of M. M. Case No. 136, and a Report of Enquiry. The Master of Kam Hip Fat was charged with leaving the waters of the Colony between the hours of 6 P.M. and 6 A.M. without a Night Clearance, contrary to Section XIV of Ord. 6 of 1866. Case dismissed for want of evidence.

April 20 Licensed Fishing Junks, Nos. 804 and 67.-Reporting the boarding of, by the Chinese Cruiser in British waters. Place pointed out by Junk Master in waters of Colony.

April 21 Forwarding Telegram from Cape d'Aguilar reporting supposed seizure of a Junk by a Chinese Customs' Launch in British waters. Nothing further heard of this.

May 31

Junk Tak Shing Li.-Reporting the boarding of; by a Chinese Cruiser in

British waters. The Master of the Junk was charged,—

(1.) With furnishing untrue particulars of his Junk at Shau-ki Wan

Harbour Office; and

(2.) With using his Clearance for another purpose than that for which it was obtained at Shau-ki Wan Harbour Station on the 26th May, 1880, contrary to Section XX of Ord.6 of 1866. Sentenced to 24 hours' imprisonment with hard labour, and Junk and Cargo to be forfeited. (M. M. Case No. 31).

Appendix D.

COLLECTION OF FOREIGN DUTIES WITHIN THE COLONY, THEIR NATURE

AND AMOUNT.

24th October, 1882.

Memo. on the illegal collection of taxes on opium in Hongkong for the Chinese Government, their nature and amount, with observations on the proposals under Chefoo convention.

B

At 109 Praya Central, Fuk Cheung Wo Hong, there is a Collectorate where "Ching Shui" or Regular Duty can be paid on opium intended to be imported into China.

At 70 Wing Lok Street, Fuk Cheung Hong, a tax called Hoifong can be paid; and at 120 Bonham Strand, there is a Collectorate of Lekin.

These Collectorates issue receipts, which are just as valid as those granted on the mainland of China, and at present the taxes collected are the same as those collected at K'ap-shui Mun, the station at the entrance of the Canton River, and are much less than the taxes collected at Canton on opium taken in Foreign Bottoms.

The taxes now collected here, and at K'ap-shui Mun, on opium shipped in junks, are, on Bengal Opium (Patna and Benares) per chest of 40 balls:-

Hoppo's or Regular Tax,.

Lekin,....

Hoifong,....

Tls. 27.3.0

20.7.0

34.8.0

On Malwa:-

Hoppo's duty,

Lekin,.....

Hoifong,............

Total Tls. 82.8.0-$115.

.Tls. 24.0.0

17.2.5

31.0.0

Total Tls. 75,2.5=$104.51

Some time ago, the rates were higher than at present, Bengal paying taels 122 for 40 balls or chest, and Malwa paying taels 111.6.7.

Opium taken into Canton in Foreign Ships, pays at present:--

On Bengal Opium (i.e. Patna and Benares) one chest 40 balls, 120 catties:-

Hoppo's Duty,

.Tls. 36.0.0

Lekin,

19.2.0

Nga Tip,

8.0.0

Hoifong,

58.0.0

Difference in Sycee; Charity for poor and sick,

5.0.0

Total Tls. 126.2.0-$175.28

On Malwa, on 100 catties:-

Duty,

Lekin,

Nga Tip,

Hoifong,

.Tls. 30.0.0

16.0.0

7.0.0

56.6.6

5.0.0

Difference in Sycee, Charity for poor and sick,

Total Tls. 114.6.6-$159.25

*

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For collecting here, the Fuk Cheung Wo Hong receives, for every hundred taels of silver collected, a commission of mace 6.5. The Lekin Collectorate receives a commission of mace 5.8. per taels 100, whilst the Hoifony Collectorate gets mace 4.8 per taels 100.

From a comparison of the above figures, it will be seen that opium, shipped in native Bottoms, and paying duty either at K'ap-shui Mun or here, is lèss heavily weighted by 25% in the case of Regular Duty and Lekin, and by 40% in the case of Hoifong than opium shipped in Foreign Bottoms to Canton. The extra charges called Nga Tip-"poor and sick," and "sycee difference," are also excluded. It is obvious therefore that little opium will be shipped from here (for Canton) in Foreign Bottoms. The absence of such shipment has been erroneously considered an evidence of smuggling from Hongkong, as has been shewn elsewhere.

of

The tax called Hoifong is a species of Lekin. It really covers two taxes, one a tax called Shuk Li, or the tax on opium for the privilege of boiling it, and the other a levy towards keeping up sea and river defences. As far as I can make out the Shuk Li tax was started in the 11th moon of the 6th

year Kwong Sü.-December 1880,-and was first farmed by a Canton man called Wong Tsun-ün. He paid to the Viceroy a sum of $400,000 for the privilege of collecting it for one year. Another tax was imposed later on called Hoifong. These two were lumped, and called by the general name of Hoifong, and the farming of them was sold by the Viceroy to Mr. Li Sing of the Wo Hang Hong of this Colony for a sum of $900,000 a year. Mr. LI SING is said to have lost largely by the transaction, and given it up, and General Pang Yuk, called sometimes General and sometimes Admiral, is reported as seeing to the collection now.

It will be observed that this Hoifong is a very much heavier tax than the Lekin or War tax, properly so-called, the nature and origin of which were so fully described by Sir THOMAS WADE in his memorandum on the Revision of the Tientsin Treaty (see Blue Book China No. 5, 1871, page 442). But Lekin is not a fixed amount. In 1874 it was 15 taels a chest on opium at the Lekin Station at Chéung Cháu just out- side this Colony (see Complaint of Hongkong community C. 1628 of 1876 page 39). Now it is double that sum, to say nothing of Hoifong.

The right of the Chinese to levy the Lekin tax on opium has never been disputed, but Sir THOMAS WADE has been endeavouring for some years to induce them to fix a uniform rate at all the ports, and hence the Chefoo Covention proposed to collect the Lekin and Regular Customs duty together; and Sir THOMAS WADE, although believing that the Lekin which the Chinese Government gathered did not amount on the average to 40 taels per picul, was nevertheless prepared to recommend the Indian Govern- ment to collect that sum for China on all Indian Opium passing into China, such payment freeing however such opium from all charges of any sort inland or elsewhere. Hongkong would have had a certain allowance without duty or Lekin. (Vide Command paper 2716, China No. 2, 1880, page 4). The Chinese Government replied that, independent of inland levies of Lekin, it would require a levy of 60 taels at the ports to make up for their present collection.

At page 5, H. M. Minister, in further discussing the question of Lekin, states that if the rates ruling at different ports were to be continued, he should require exact information as to the inland Collectorates, and the rates levied at each; but the Chinese Government evidently dɔ not want to give that information. (see page 7 of China No. 2, 1880).

Finally it seems that Sir THOMAS WADE would be prepared to agree that opium should pay Lekin at the inland barriers beyond the first existing in 1876, and at the rates then prevailing, the first barrier rate being collected by the Foreign Inspectorate with regular duty. This is such a concession from hist first position that he must have ascertained that the Lekin was small.

Sir ROBERT HARt in a communication to the TSUNG LI YAMEN, (published in Command paper No. 1832 China No. 3, 1877, and entitled Proposals for the better regulation of Commercial relations), proposed that the Treaty Powers should consent that Opium should pay an import duty of taels 120 per picul to the Maritime Customs on arrival at a Treaty Port, and that at a distance of 30 li=10 miles from the Custom House, it should be regarded as a Chinese commodity, and subject to local, territorial and special taxation, whenever, wherever, and with whomsoever found, and that no other charge shall be levied at the Port (see page 2, Imports).

The above proposals and discussions are certainly not without interest to the trade of this Colony, and a knowledge of the increased amount of Opium dues now collected by the Canton authorities might prove useful to the Home authorities and to the Indian Government, especially as that Government has

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lately called attention to the undesirability of the Chinese Government largely enhancing the Import duty on Indian Opium, and more especially because recent observations show that the market for Indian Opium will be confined for the most part to the South of China.

The next question is, the existence of these local Collectorates being shewn, whether the Government should take immediate notice of the levy.

There is little doubt but that the system is not of yesterday. It was found out, and stopped by Sir R. G. MACDONNELL, during his Government. It is clearly contrary to international law, (see Lord CLARENDON's despatch, Revision of Tientsin Treaty, China, 1871, page 400), and the Canton authorities know it-see Sir BROOKE ROBERTSON's representation to the Canton Government, (Command paper 1189 of 1875, page 36,) where he told the Viceroy "that the collection of Imperial duties in the Colony was against the law."

Nevertheless the Hongkong traders say it is a matter of convenience to them to pay duties here, which they would have to pay at the K'ap-shui Mun Station, a distance of 7 miles, and where there is often trouble about the tender. They also say that they can clear their Opium for any place along the Coast north or South, without going to K'ap-Shui Mun. Besides being contrary to international usage, a system of espionage is established, which places the Chinese residents of the Colony very much in the power of the Canton Officials, a power which may be used often to their disadvantage. Otherwise than the principle involved and the drawbacks to some Chinese residents, I am not sure that there is much to be objected to in the collection, and the convenience to many is obvious. But if there is to be an arrangement, as seems in contemplation, for the future regulation of the Opium traffic, and if this Colony is to have stations estab- lished within its jurisdiction, care should be taken that a proper recognition is made, that the concession, if made, is only granted for a good consideration, and because that our nearness to China warrants our making it. For such facilities granted for collecting, we should perhaps have some of the large revenue which has been over and over again alleged to be lost to the Chinese Government through Hongkong smuggling.

In 1868 Sir THOMAS WADE said that "by the contraband trade of junks frequenting Hongkong "and Macao, the Customs Revenue is defrauded in import and export duties little less than 1,000,000 taels "per annum.' Revision of Tientsin Treaty China No. 5, 1871, page 460.

The Governor states that "the Hongkong Government gets at present $205,000 per annum from "the Opium Farm, which is practically levying an ad valorem tax on it of more than 100 per cent. to the "consumers," and that he agrees "with Sir THOMAS WADE that by the opium smuggling from Hongkong "into China, the Government of China loses at least a million of taels of revenue per annum." M. Colonial possessions C. 3094 of 1881).

(See H.

Putting aside the disparity in the Estimates of the amount of smuggling, there can be no doubt but the geographical position of the island does afford a basis of operations for smuggling, and that a considerable amount does exist. The undersigned, however, ventures with all respect to point out that a comparison of the figures given by Sir THOMAS WADE, on page 3 of Command paper 2,716 China No. 2 (1880) shows that not more than 3,357 piculs of opium (leaving out Macao which takes up a large quantity) can be smuggled into China from Hongkong. The revenue on that, in 1876, would have been less than $300,000. In 1875 there were left at Hongkong 21,670 piculs of the whole import. In the financial year 1875-1876 the Hoppo admitted collecting duty on what Sir THOMAS WADE estimates as piculs 10,813, of that amount Sir THOMAS WADE also allows 7,500 piculs for Hongkong boiling, for export and local use, (and export elsewhere than to China in the raw state) whilst the Governor's figures would lead to the conclusion that only 310 chests were boiled or prepared here. His Excellency states that the payment of the tax by the Opium Farmer of $205,000 is an ad valorem tax of more than 100 per cent. i.e., the value of the opium used is at the most $205,000, or equal about to 310 piculs. The capital of the last Company was $1,400,000, and as a first return, Shareholders got 12 per cent. interest on the capital.

However, if the Chinese Government lose annually anything like what is estimated from opium smuggling here, it would certainly pay them well to give this Colony a large percentage to collect their duty for them, or to allow a Foreign Inspectorate Station within the jurisdiction, because they would then get rid of all their Cruisers and save large expenses.

24th October, 1882.

(Signed) J. RUSSELL,

Colonial Treasurer and Registrar General.

J

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Appendix E.

ESTABLISHMENT OF A SALT DEPÔT IN THE CENTRE OF THE COLONY FOR ISSUING

LICENCES AND COLLECTING DUES FROM HONGKONG FISHERMEN, SEIZURE OF FISH BY TWO CRUISERS OF A SALT FARMER, THE FISH

BROUGHT BY THE CRUISERS TO THE COLONY.

No. 22.

The Registrar General to Colonial Secretary.

REGISTRAR GENERAL'S OFFICE,

HONGKONG, 26th April, 1883.

SIR,

I have the honour to forward a Petition from two fishermen of Shau-ki Wan, Masters of Licensed Fishing Junks, Nos. -- and, who complain of having had their fish taken from them by a Cruiser in the employ of the Yan-wo T'ong, No. 167, Praya West.

From information given me yesterday by the Master of a Fish Lán who has been 43 years in this Colony, I gather that, before and since Hongkong was a British Colony, all junks engaged in the salt- fish trade here have had to take out Permits from the Salt Farmer, who obtains his monopoly from the Salt Commissioner of the Two Kwang. Formerly, these Permits were issued at Nam T'au, and at a branch establishment on the neighbouring island of Cheung Chau. At the Chinese New Year this Chéung Chau branch was removed to No. 167, Praya West, where, under the designation of the Yan-wo T'ong, it issues Permits to Hongkong Licensed Junks to salt fish on the high seas.

"

The price paid for the Permits varies with the quantity of salt to be used by the fishermen. I enclose a fac-simile (seals excepted) of the Permit issued to Petitioner-

who had to pay $2.75 for it. When he used to get his annual Permit at Chéung Chau he had to pay but $2 for it. I am unable to enclose the original, because the poor man cannot earn his living without it; but I had it in my possession for some hours, and I certify that the enclosed is, as already stated, an exact copy.

I am not aware whether the Yan-wo T'ong have heard of Petitioner being at this Office; but, yesterday, they made, I am told, an offer to restore the fish. When Petitioners went for their property, it was refused under the pretext that the Master had gone to Canton. This morning, however, the offer was renewed, accompanied with a promise of compensation for deterioration, the fish having been placed in the Yan-wo T'ong before they were properly cured.

Supposing then that my information is correct, and I see no reason to doubt it, the state of things is simply this, that every fishing junk belonging to the Colony has to take out a Permit from the Chinese Government to salt the fish it takes on the high seas, and this Permit has to be obtained at a Chinese Revenue Office on the Praya in Hongkong.

The Honourable W. H. MARSH, C.M.G.,

To the Honourable,

Colonial Secretary,

$c.,

&c.,

&'c.

(Signed)

FREDERICK STEWART, Registrar General.

Petition from Chán Tsoi-li and Keung Hing-li.

THE REGISTRAR GENERAL.

CHÁN TSOI-LI and KEUNG HING-LI respectively of fishing junks Nos. and at Shau-ki Wan present a petition praying that an enquiry may be made into a case in which they have been robbed.

On the 15th of this moon about 3 P.M., (21st April, 1883), while Petitioners, who have for a long time been earning their livelihood by fishing, were sailing their junks on the waters of Kwo-chau, they encountered a cruiser belonging to the Yan-wo T'ong Salt Farm, Hongkong. At the request of the

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men on board this cruiser, Petitioners produced their Salt certificates, but they said the certificates could not be passed, and forcibly robbed Petitioners of more than ten piculs of fish,* all the fish they had on board their junks. Petitioners dared not offer any resistance, and allowed them to take away the fish. Immediately afterwards, Petitioners returned to Hongkong, and went and asked the Yan-wo T'ong Salt Farm No. 167, Praya West, why their Salt certificates were not passed, and why the men on board the said cruiser robbed them of their fish. The sellers of Salt certificates said that the cruiser belonged to them, but they must find out what quantity of fish had been taken before they could settle the matter. They neither gave a definite answer nor undertook to recover the same for Petitioners at once. Having bought Salt certificates with which they proceed to sea to catch fish, Petitioners consider that all cruisers belonging to the Salt Farm should allow them to pass after the certificates have been produced and examined. Why should the men on board the said cruiser, in the present case, refuse to pass their certificates and rob them of their fish? Petitioners feel aggrieved at this, and therefore implore Your Honour to issue a warrant for the arrest of the Yan-wo T'ong, and recover the fish for them.

(Paper attached).

CHÁN TSOI-LI's Salt certificates having been seized by cruiser No. 1, it is necessary to wait till the return of the said cruiser, (to the Colony) when the things (taken from him) will be returned.

Dated 16th day, 3rd moon, 9th year of Kwong Sü (22nd April, 1883).

* Nearly 12 cwt.

Seal

of

Pün Kün San On

Salt Farm.

The Registrar General to Colonial Secretary.

(Copy.)

No. 30.

SIR,

REGISTRAR GENERAL'S OFFICE,

HONGKONG, 9th May, 1883.

In continuation of my letter No. 22 of the 16th ultimo, (C.S.O. No. 1052.) I have the honour to enclose statements made to me by Mr.

Mr.

Mr.

and

Inspector CAMERON regarding the Branch Office of the Chinese Salt Farm in this Colony, that goes by the name of the Yan-wo T'ong, at No. 167, Praya West.

These statements, together with the Licence which was obtained by CHEUNG, clearly prove the existence of the establishment and the nature of its operations.

The information now obtained may be of use to the Commission on Smuggling.

The Honourable W. H. MARSH, C.M.G.,

Colonial Secretary.

I have, &c.,

(Signed)

FREDERICK STEWART,

Registrar General.

( 22 )

(Copy.)

Statement by a Chinese-name not published.

I have had the shop over 20 years. The two Permits to fishermen which I produce were obtained by my shop early this year. They were got from the Yan-wo T'ong, No. 167, Praya West. A man called Cheng is the master. It was established this year. It is a Salt Farm. Fishermen belonging to Hongkong must get such Permits before they can salt fish. Each Permit costs 1 tael 9m. 8 can. $2.75. The Permit holds good for a year and it costs the same sum at whatever period of the year it is issued. The Yan-wo T'ong has 2 cruisers. They are not steamers. They give notice to the fishermen that they must get permits. Formerly they were issued at Nam T'au by the Pang Shing Farm. The Yan-wo Tong is a branch of the Farm. The branch was formerly at Cheung Chau,* but it is now removed to Hongkong.

The Salt Commissioner of the two Kwang superintends the whole Salt Revenue, but he farms it out to a farmer. This practice of issuing Permits has gone on for many years. I have been 43 years in Hongkong and this practice has prevailed all this time. No fishing junks connected with the Colony can go beyond the limits of the Harbour to catch and salt fish without a permit. The catching of fresh fish is not interfered with. There are only 2 cruisers. Both are armed. One is large. The other is smaller. They sometimes anchor off the Parade Ground and sometimes off Yau-ma Ti. The lowest Permit is for 100 catties of Salt at any one time; but permits can be obtained for any quantity at a proportionately increased cost. Permits are sometimes issued for half a year, or for any short period, but generally they are issued for one year.

The Permits cost more this year. Last year, a Permit for 100 catties of Salt cost $2. This costs $2.75.

year it

The Staff of the Yan Wo consists of 4 or 5 clerks. I have no idea of the amount of money they take

in a month.

*

25th April, 1883.

(Signed)

F. STEWART.

LI CHI-SHANG, Manager of the Yan-wo T'ong, No. 167, Praya West.

My firm trades with Shanghai in mat-bags, sandal wood and sundries. It has been in Hongkong since the fourth moon of last year. The San On Salt Farmer is my friend. For the convenience of boats and to oblige the Farmer, I sometimes issue Permits, and collect the money, I do not know the Farmer's name. It is my friend Pün, living in Canton, who knows him; and it is through Mr. Pün that I do what I do, to oblige the Farmer. I believe the Farmer lives at Nám T'au. It may be that licences are, or were issued at Cheung Chau, I am not sure. I know licences are issued at Nám Tau. I know nothing of the two fishermen who presented a Petition about their fish. T'ong. I do not know why fishing junks connected with Government. I am only acting as a friend.

The fish was never stored in the Yan-wo Hongkong should pay taxes to Chinese

(Signed) F. STEWART.

1st May, 1883.

Statement of a Chinese dealer-name not published.

The master of the Yan-wo T'ong is Chêng Tsun-téng. He left the Yan-wo T'ong the day I was here (25th April). He is now living either in the U Wo Mat Shop, or the U Tak Shing carpenter's Shop. No permits are being issued for the present, but I believe they will resume when they think this has blown over. The Yan-wo T'ong does no business except the issuing of Permits. About 20 have been obtained by my shop from the Yan-wo Tong since the Chinese New Year. My Shop used to get Permits for fishermen from Chéung-chau.

* Chéung Chau is the Chinese Revenue Station at the West entrance of the Harbour.

( 23 )

The two fishermen from Shau-ki Wan who presented the Petition did not get back their fish lest it should form proof against the Yan-wa T'ong, but they got $40 in money.

Lately I have heard that one of the cruisers took away a boat's nets, and a girl from another boat. They took also from a third boat about 21 piculs of salt. The salt was sold at Yau-ma Ti. I do not know the names of those three junks, but I will enquire and let you know. When the change was made from Cheung Chau to Hongkong, the Yan-wo T'ong people went about among the Lans and gave information. Besides the master Chêng Tsun-teng there are three clerks. They have large quantities of Permit forms in boxes. These have been removed from the shop for the present. If you suspect my statements it will be very easy to get the master of a junk, say at Stanley or at Aberdeen, to get a Permit if you supply the money.

I have been informed that the Mandarin at Po-táu Chau has beaten some of the men on board those

salt cruisers for robbing people.

[Asked how it came that no report has been made before, states]. No one dares. Even I am afraid of getting into trouble, if it gets known that I am giving information.

2

1st May, 1883.

master of the

(Signed)

F. STEWART.

Lan, Salt Fish Street.

I have been in Hongkong 25 years, I know that Permits from the San On Salt Farmer have been issued in this Colony to fishing junks belonging to this Colony for the last ten years. Formerly, it was done very secretly. Permits were sent here from Cheung Chau, and the Agent occupied the upper floor of a house, changing his residence frequently to prevent detection. He sent men round to the Lans and junks to let people know where he was to be found. I know the Yan-wo T'ong was established here at the end of last Chinese year. Several Permits have been obtained from it by my shop. I do not know the head man or any of his subordinates.

The reason

The sum paid for Permits varies with the size of the junk and the quantity of Salt used. They are dearer this year than they were formerly. One that cost $2 last year costs $2.75 this

year. given is, that the Farmer has to pay a higher sum than formerly to the Salt Commissioner. The Salt Farmer lives in Nam T'au. I do not know him. Permits are issued at Nam T'au, Cheung Chau, and Hongkong. There are two armed cruisers for the San On District. If they find a fishing junk without a licence they impose a fine of from $100 to $200, and confiscate the junk.

I heard about the two Shau-ki Wan fishermen who had their fish taken away by a cruiser. I do not know how the matter was settled. I have not heard of the taking away of a girl or of the taking away of a junk's nets.

(Asked how it comes that this issuing of Permits in Hongkong, to Hongkong licensed junks, has been going on so long without any complaint, states). The cruisers are so powerful that fishermen are afraid to complain, and are too glad to be let alone by paying the fee for the Permit.

The Cruisers frequent this Harbour.

2nd May, 1883.

(Signed)

F. STEWART.

Inspector Cameron to Registrar General.

(Copy.)

SIR,

YAU-MA TI,

7th May, 1883.

I have the honour to inform you that on Saturday the 5th instant, I sent a man, named to the Yan-wo T'ong, No. 167, Praya West, with instructions to purchase the paper that I handed to you on the above date. Before obtaining the paper several questions were asked him as to who he was and

(241)

from where he came; to which he replied that he belonged to a fishing junk anchored off Yau-ma Ti. The paper was then made out for which he had to pay $5.08. He was instructed by the man who handed him the paper that if any of the European Officers (referring to the Harbour Officers) asked for his papers, he was not to show the one issued from the Yan-wo T'ong. The Yan-wo T'ong is a house of three stories, but there does not seem to be any other business carried on than the issuing of the papers referred to.

The Honourable F. STEWART, LL.D.,

Registrar General.

I have, &c.,

(Signed)

J. B. CAMERON,

Inspector of Police.

FISHERMAN'S CERTIFICATE.

No. 69, Character Shui.

>

Salt Commissioner of the Two Kwang, in the matter of issuing sealed permits in order to facilitate enquiry and inspection as well as to encourage the sale of Government Salt. By order of NGOK, a former Governor, certificates registered under certain characters, numbered and with counterfoils were instituted and granted to the (Salt) Farmer, so that he might supply fishermen with them, who could fill in the quantity of Government Salt they purchased, and thus a distinction would be drawn between Government and Smuggled Salt, and enquiry and inspection would be facilitated. Whereas

fisherman, has purchased from the San On (Salt) Farm, 100 catties of Government Salt wherewith to salt fish on the open seas, he is now permitted to catch fish within the waters of this jurisdiction, the limits of which he must not exceed. In the event of his doing so, he will be punished. All military guard stations he may happen to come across will allow him to pass on examination of his certificate.

If any one should smuggle Salt or attempt to pass counterfeit certificates, he will be arrested forthwith, and brought to trial.

Dated 10th day, 1st moon, 9th year of Kwong Sü. (17th February, 1883).

To keep a small junk. This certificate expires on the 10th day of the 12th moon of this year (7th January, 1884) after which time it will be invalid. No. 69 character Shui.

Seal of the

Seal of the

Salt Commissioner

Seal of Pün Kün San On Salt Farm.

Salt Commissioner

of the two Kwang.

of the two Kwang.

Pun Fuk-shing

T'ong-to-ki

San On Farm.

Be careful.

{

Correspondence respecting the alleged Smuggling of Opium from

Hongkong to China.

Presented to the Legislative Council by command of

His Excellency the Governor.

Governor Sir G. Bowen to Earl of Derby.

(Copy)..

No. 298.

MY LORD,

GOVERNMENT HOUSE.

HONGKONG. 10th November. 1883.

In my reply to Your Lordship's despatch No. 52 of the 2nd March ultimo, relative to a question asked in the House of Commons concerning the alleged smuggling of Opium from Hongkong to the mainland of China, I had the honour to state that I should forward, as soon as I should receive it, the Report of the Commission appointed by the Officer recently Administering the Government of this Colony (The Honourable W. H. MARSH, C.M.G.,) to enquire into this important subject.

2. I have now the honour to transmit herewith six printed copies of the Report of the Commission, which has only just reached my hands, having been unavoidably delayed owing to the necessity of careful enquiry and of taking voluminous evidence.

3. I concur with the practical suggestions of the Commission at the close of their Report, and I recommend them to Your Lordship's favourable consideration.

I have, &c.,

(Signed)

G. F. BOWEN,

HONGKONG,

No. 12.

C. O. to F. O., 7th Jan,

SIR,

The Earl of Derby to Governor Sir G. Bowen.

DOWNING STREET,

22nd January, 1884.

I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch No. 298 of the 10th of November, enclosing copies of the Report issued by the Commission recently appointed to enquire into the alleged smuggling from Hongkong into China.

2. As regards the first of the two suggestions made by the Commissioners at

information and guidance, copies of correspondence on the subject with the Foreign Office as noted in the margin.

F. O. to C. O., 18th Jan. the conclusion of their Report (page XIV), I have the honour to enclose for your

3. The second recommendation can be at once approved, and I shall be glad

if you will take steps for giving effect to it.

4. I request you to convey to the Commissioners my appreciation of the trouble which they have taken in drawing up this valuable Report.

Governor Sir G. F. BOWEN, G.C.M.G.,

&c..,

&

I have, &c.,

(Signed) DERBY.

t

Colonial Office to Foreign Office.

(Copy).

SIR,

DOWNING STREET,

7th January, 1884.

I am directed by the Earl of DERBY to enclose, for the consideration of Earl GRANVILLE, a copy of a Report which has been issued by a Commission appointed by the Hongkong Government to enquire into the alleged smuggling from Hong- kong into China.

2. I am to request you to call Lord GRANVILLE's attention to the first of the two suggestions made by the Commissioners on page XIV of their Report, and to request that, if his Lordship sees no objection, Sir HARRY PARKES may be instructed to urge the Pekin Government to comply with the wishes of the Hongkong Government, and to verify the status of such of the cruisers as belong to the Imperial Navy or Officials. Lord DERBY in the meantime proposes to instruct Sir GEORGE BOWEN to communicate with the Consul at Canton, with the view of verifying such vessels as are under the Provincial Government or Officials.

THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE

+

FOREIGN OFFICE.

1

I am, &c.,

(Signed)

JOHN BRAMSTON.

Foreign Office to Colonial Office.

(Copy).

SIR,

FOREIGN OFFICE,

January 18th, 1884.

I am directed by Earl GRANVILLE to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 7th instant, enclosing a copy of a Report which has been issued by a Commission appointed by the Hongkong Government to enquire into the alleged smuggling from the Colony into China, and I am to state to you, for the information of Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, that, in accordance with His Lordship's suggestion, the Report in question has been transmitted to Her Majesty's Minister at Pekin, who has been instructed to urge the Chinese Government to comply with the wishes of the Hongkong Government in the sense of the Report.

I am to add that Lord GRANVILLE concurs in Lord DERBY'S proposal to instruct Sir GEORGE BOWEN to communicate with the Acting Consul at Canton with the view of verifying such vessels as are under the Provincial Government or Officials.

Sir HARRY PARKES has been informed of this proposed instruction.

I am, &c.,

THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE

COLONIAL

(Signed)

PHILIP W. CURRIE.

1

Papers relative to the grant of land for a Roman Catholic Cemetery laid on the table at the Meeting of the Legislative Council, held on the 19th March, 1884, in pursuance of the motion of the Hon. P. Ryrie, and ordered by the Council to be printed.

The Prefect Apostolic of the Roman Catholics to the Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Hongkong.

(Copy.)

VICTORIA, HONGKONG,

SIR,

5th January, 1848.

I beg most respectfully to represent to Your Excellency that the portion of ground allowed for the burial of the Roman Catholics in this Colony is nearly full, and that on account of its limited dimensions from West to East, it is impossible to enlarge the same, except at a very large outlay; besides which its close proximity to the Charitable institutions of the Mission in course of erection, as well as other buildings, would doubtless prove detrimental to the health of their inmates. I therefore humbly request that Your Excellency will be pleased to grant to the Mission under my charge a more suitable and convenient locality for the interment of the Roman Catholics; and I would beg to suggest that, that piece of land immediately adjoining the Northern Side of the English Burial Ground be assigned us for the purpose stated in this my application, which I trust Your Excellency will deign to view favourably.

(Signed)

I have, &c.,

FR. ANTONIO FELICIANI, Prefect Apostolic of the Roman Catholics in Hongkong.

To His Excellency,

Sir JOHN FRANCIS DAVIS, Bart.,

Governor and Commander-in-Chief,

&c.,

True Copy,

&C.,

&c.

(Signed) J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART.

10th March, 1884.

1

Extract from the Minutes of the Executive Council held on the 6th January, 1848.

PRESENT:

His Excellency THE GOVERNOR.

The Honourable Major CAINE.

>>

A. R. JOHNSTON, Esq.

Read and considered an application from the Revd. Father FELICIANI, Prefect Apostolic, praying that a piece of land immediately adjoining the Northern side of the English Burial Ground in the Wong-nei-Chong Valley, be assigned him

for the interment of the Roman Catholics in Hongkong, in the room of that ground

now become inconvenient from its limited extent and its situation within the

Town."

"Resolved :-that his application be granted, on condition of his discontinuing all interments for the future in the present Cemetery, and agreeing to conform to all the Regulations which may be framed by the Surveyor General with regard to this proposed Burial Ground."

"The Surveyor General to be instructed to place himself in communication

with Father FELICIANI, and to mark out the Boundaries, in the event of his

accepting this proposal. The Regulations are to be submitted, in the first instance, for the approval of His Excellency the Governor.'

True Extract,

(Signed) J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART,

Acting Clerk of Council.

10th March, 1884.

The Colonial Secretary to the Prefect Apostolic of the Roman Catholics, Hongkong.

(Copy.)

No. 10.

REVEREND SIR,

COLONIAL OFFICE, VICTORIA,

HONGKONG, 7th January, 1848.

I am directed to acknowledge the receipt of your application of the 5th instant for another site for a Roman Catholic Burial Ground in consequence of the limited dimensions of your present Cemetery, and to inform you that His Excellency the Governor in Council has been pleased to grant the ground next to, and north of the English Burial Ground in the Valley of Wong-nei-chong for the purpose of a place of Burial for Roman Catholics, provided you distinctly agree to discontinue for the future all interments whatever in your present burial ground, and that your society will conform to all regulations which the Surveyor General may deem proper and requisite for the proposed new Burial Ground. In event of your assenting to the contents of this letter, the Surveyor General will be instructed to mark out the boundaries and arrange further particulars with you.

The Reverend,

Father ANTONIO FELICIANI,

Prefect Apostolic of the Roman Catholics

in Hongkong.

True Copy,

(Signed) J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART.

10th March, 1884.

I have, &c.,

(Signed)

W. CAINE,

Colonial Secretary.

}

The Prefect Apostolic of the Roman Catholics to the Colonial Secretary, Hongkong.

(Copy.)

SIR,

CATHOLIC MISSION HOUSE,

HONGKONG, 7th January, 1848.

In acknowledging the receipt of your letter of this date conveying to me (on the part of the Catholic Mission) His Excellency the Governor's pleasure granting piece of ground in the Valley of Wong-nei-chong as a place of Burial for Roman Catholics, and requiring me to conform with certain regulations, I do myself the honour to acquaint you, that so soon as the regulations required by the Surveyor General are pointed out, and the boundary lines marked, all Burials at the present Cemetery shall be discontinued, and I shall conform to any regulations which the Surveyor General may deem requisite.

The Honourable,

I have, &c.,

(Signed)

FR. ANTONIO FELICIANI, Prefect Apostolic.

THE COLONIAL SECRETARY,

&c.,

&c.,

&c.

True Copy,

(Signed) J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART.

10th March, 1884.

The Colonial Secretary to the Surveyor General.

(Copy.)

No. 12.

COLONIAL OFFICE, VICTORIA,

HONGKONG, 8th January, 1848.

SIR,

I am directed by His Excellency the Governor to send the enclosed letter from the Revd. Father FELICIANI of the Catholic Mission, and to request that you will place yourself in communication with him, and cause to be marked out for a Roman Catholic Burial Ground, the Valley North of, and adjoining to the English Burial Ground in the Wong-nei-chong.

You will please to draw up any Rules or Regulations that may to you seem necessary for the security and good appearance of this proposed new Burial Ground, submitting the same for the approval of His Excellency.

CHAS. ST. GEO. CLEVERLY, Esq.,

Surveyor General.

True Copy,

(Signed) J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART.

10th March, 1884.

I have, &c.,

(Signed)

W. CAINE, Colonial Secretary.

(Copy.)

No. 3.

The Surveyor General to the Colonial Secretary.

SURVEYOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,

VICTORIA, 24th January, 1848.

SIR,

I have, in obedience to the commands of His Excellency The Governor, conveyed to me in your letter of the Sth instant, placed myself in communication with the Revd. Father FELICIANI of the Catholic Mission, and accordingly marked out for the Burial Ground required, the Valley North of, and adjoining the English Burial Ground, giving a frontage to the Road of 325 feet and extending from thence a distance of 600 feet so as to include the whole valley.

1

I beg to observe that the Father FELICIANI naturally objects to any regulation which should affect the interior of the Burial Ground, and as the Catholic Mission are prepared to enclose the same with a wall, the object His Excellency The Governor had in view regarding its appearances will be effected.

All other and general regulations are amply provided for in the Lease from

the Crown.

I have, &c.,

(Signed)

Honourable Major W. CAINE,

Colonial Secretary.

True Copy,

(Signed) J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART.

10th March, 1884.

CHAS. ST. GEO. CLEVERLY,

Surveyor General.

A MEMORIAL REQUIRED TO BE REGISTERED ACCORDING TO THE

PROVISIONS OF ORDINANCE No. 3 OF 1844.

NATURE AND OBJECT OF THE DEED OR DOCUMENT TO WHICH THE MEMORIAL RELATES.

Letters of Administration of all and singular the Estate and Effects of the late LUIGI AMBROSI deceased granted to the very Reverend TIMOLEONE RAIMONDI under the Seal

of the Supreme Court of Hongkong in its Probate Jurisdiction.

Date of the Deed or The twenty-sixth day of May in the Year of Our Lord one

Document.

S

thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine.

Names and Additions) In re LUIGI AMBROSI deceased.

of the Parties.

TIMOLEONE RAIMONDI Administrator.

Names and Additions

FREDERICK LOWLEY HUFFAM, Deputy Registrar.

of the Witnesses.

Parcels of ground affected by the Deed or Document.

Inland Lots fifty; fifty-eight; one hundred and forty-nine; One hundred and ninety-nine; Two hundred and ninety-nine; Three hundred and forty-nine, and Aberdeen Inland Lot Number one.

(Signed) T. RAIMONDI.

On this thirty-first Day of May, A.D. 1869, JOHN JOSEPH FRANCIS of Victoria, in the Colony of Hongkong, Gentleman, appeared before me, and according to Section V. of Ordinance No. 3 of 1844, made oath, that the foregoing is a true Memorial of a Document, the original of which has been exhibited to him, and that the signature "T. RAIMONDI" hereto, was subscribed in his presence.

(Signed) F. W. MITCHELL, J.P.

Victoria,

Received at the Land Office and registered as Memorial No. 4749 on the thirty-first day of May A.D. 1869, at forty-five minutes after Noon.

A true Copy

(Signed) EDW. J. ACKROYD,

Registrar.

(Signed)

W. WILSON,

Surveyor General.

Copy Counterpart.

The Original, under the Seal of the Colony and signed by Sir John Bowring, is held by the Lessees.

THIS INDENTURE, of two parts, made the twentieth day of January, 1858, between OUR SOVEREIGN LADY VICTORIA, by the GRACE of GOD, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, of the one part, and D. LUIGI AMBROSI, on behalf of the Sacred Congregation for the propagation of the Christian Catholic Faith in China, of the other part, WHEREAS by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, made and dated at Westminster, the Fifth day of April in the Sixth Year of the Reign of Her said Majesty, the Island of Hongkong, and its Depen- dencies were erected into a Colony and full power and authority, to the Governor of the said Colony of Hongkong for the time being, were given and granted in the Name of Her said Majesty, and on Her behalf, (but subject nevertheless to such provisions, as might be in that respect contained in any Instructions which might from time to time be addressed to him, by Her said Majesty), to make, and execute in the Name, and on the behalf of Her said Majesty, under the Public Seal of the said Colony, grants of land to Her said Majesty belonging, within the said Colony, to private persons for their own use and benefit, or to any persons, bodies politic or corporate in trust for the public uses of Her said Majesty's Subjects there

resident, or any of them; AND WHEREAS, by certain other Letters Patent under the great Seal as aforesaid, bearing date the Eleventh day of January in the Seventeenth Year of the Reign of Her said Majesty, Sir JOHN BOWRING, Knight, L.L.D., Her Majesty's Plenipotentiary and Chief Superintendent of the Trade of British Subjects Trading in China, was constituted and appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the said Colony of Hongkong, and its Dependencies; AND WHEREAS by certain Instructions of Her said Majesty, addressed to the then Governor of Hongkong, under Her said Majesty's Signet and Sign Manual, and dated the Sixth day of April 1843, the said Governor was, amongst other things, instructed to grant Leases of the Land in the said Colony belonging to Her said Majesty; NOW THIS INDENTURE WITNESSETH, that in consideration of the yearly rents, conditions, and agreements, hereinafter reserved and contained, by and on the part and behalf of the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his executors, adminis- trators, and assigns, to be paid, done, and performed, and also of the sum of Five Current Dollars, which are at this time a legal tender in the said Colony of Hong- kong, in hand paid to the said Sir JOHN BOWRING as Governor of the said Colony for the use of Her said Majesty by the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, at or before the Sealing and Delivery of these Presents, the Receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged; HIER SAID MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA, Hath demised, leased, and to

farm let, and by these presents Doth demise, lease and to farm let unto the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his executors, administrators, and assigns. ALL that piece or parcel of ground, situate, lying, and being at Victoria in the said Island of Hong- kong, abutting on the North side thereof on ground now in the possession of Government and measuring thereon Six hundred feet. On the South side thereof on the Protestant Burial Ground and measuring thereon Six hundred feet, on the East side thereof on a Public Road and measuring thereon Three hundred and

twenty-five feet, and on the West side thereof on ground now in the possession of Government and measuring thereon Three hundred and twenty-five feet, which said piece or parcel of ground contains in the whole One hundred and ninety-five thousand square feet and is registered in the Land Office as Inland Lot Number Two hundred and ninety-nine in the name of the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, on behalf of the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Christian Catholic Faith in China (for the purposes of a Burial Ground)* together with all easements, profits, commodities, and appurtenances whatsoever, to the said demised premises belong- ing, or in any wise appertaining. EXCEPT AND ALWAYS RESERVED unto Her said Majesty, Her Heirs, Successors, and Assigns full power to resume and take possession of all or any part of the said piece or parcel of Ground hereby demised, if required for the improvement of the said Colony of Hongkong or for any other public purpose whatsoever, three Calendar Months' notice being given to the occupant thereof of its being so required, and a full and fair compensation for the said land and the buildings thereon, being paid to the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his heirs, executors, administrators or assigns, at a valuation to be fairly and impartially made by the Surveyor of Her said Majesty, Her Heirs, Successors, or Assigns, and

* These words in Italics arc written in pencil in the original counterpart.

-

in which said valuation, the benefit to accrue to the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his

heirs, executors, administrators or assigns from any such improvement, or public purpose shall be allowed by way of set off against any damage, he, or they may suffer from such resumption as aforesaid; EXCEPT AND RESERVED ALSO all mines, minerals, and quarries of stone in, under and upon the said premises, and all such marl, clay, chalk, brick, earth, gravel, sand, stone, and stones, and other earths, or materials, which now are or hereafter during the continuance of this demise, shall be under, or upon the said premises, or any part or parts thereof, as Her said Majesty, Her Heirs, Successors, and Assigns may require for the roads public buildings, or other public purposes of the said Colony of Hongkong, with full liberty of ingress, egress, and regress, to and for Her said Majesty, Her Heirs, Successors, and Assigns and Her, and their agents, servants, and workmen at reasonable times in the year, during the continuance of this demise, with or without horses, carts, carriages, and all other necessary things, into, upon, from, and out of all or any part or parts of the premises herein before demised, to view, quarry, dig for, convert, and carry away, the said excepted minerals, stone, earths, and other things respectively, or any part or parts thereof respectively, thereby doing as little damage as possible to the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his executors, administrators, or assigns; AND SAVE AND EXCEPT also full power to make and conduct in, through, and under the said hereby demised premises, all and any public or

common sewers drains or watercourses.

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said piece or parcel of ground and premises, hereby demised, or intended so to be, with their, and every of their appurtenances, unto the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his executors, administrators, and assigns, from the Eighth day of January A.D. 1848, for and during and unto the full end and term of Nine hundred and ninety-nine years from thence next ensuing, and fully to be complete, and ended: YIELDING AND PAYING therefor yearly and every year the Sum of Four shillings and two pence Sterling, in Current Dollars of the said Colony of Hongkong, (at such rate of exchange, as is now, or may hereafter from time to time be fixed as the rate of exchange, for the payment of the Salaries of the Public Servants of the said Colony), by half yearly payments, on the Twenty-fourth day of June, and the Twenty-fifth day of December, in every year, free and clear of and from all taxes, rates, charges, impositions and assessments whatsoever imposed or to be imposed upon or in respect of the said hereby demised premises, or any part thereof, during the term hereby granted; the first half yearly payment of the said yearly rent or Sum of Four shillings and two pence Sterling to be made on the Twenty-fourth day of June 1848, AND THE SAID D. LUIGI AMBROSI, for himself, his heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns doth hereby covenant, promise and agree, to and with Her said Majesty, Her Heirs, Successors, and Assigns by these presents, in manner following, that is to say, that he the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns shall and will yearly, and every year, during the said term of Nine hundred and ninety-nine years hereby granted, well and truly pay, or cause to be paid to Her said Majesty, Her Heirs, Successors, and Assigns, the said yearly Sum of Four shillings and two

pence Sterling, payable in Dollars at the rate of exchange aforesaid, clear of all taxes and deductions as aforesaid, in the several days and times, and in the manner herein before reserved and made payable; AND ALSO that he the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his executors, administrators, and assigns shall, and will during all the said term hereby granted, bear, pay, and discharge all taxes, charges and impositions whatsoever, as are or shall be hereafter assessed or charged, on or in anywise imposed upon or in respect of the said premises hereby demised or intended so to be or any part thereof. AND that he the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his executors, administrators, or assigns, shall, and will, before the expiration of the first year of the term hereby granted, at his and their own proper costs and charges, in a good, substantial, and workman-like manner erect, build, and completely finish fit for use, one or more good, substantial, and safe brick or stone messuage or tenement, messuages or tenements, upon some part of the ground hereby demised, with proper fences, walls, sewers, drains, and all other usual or necessary appurtenances, and shall and will lay out, and expend thereon the Sum of Two pounds one shilling and eight pence and upwards, which said messuage or tenement, messuages or tenements, shall be of the same rate of building, elevation, character, and descrip- tion, and shall front, and range in an uniform manner with the messuages or tenements in the same street, and the whole to be done to the satisfaction of the Surveyor of Her said Majesty, Her Heirs, Successors, or Assigns; AND ALSO that the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his executors, administrators, and assigns, shall and will from time to time, and at all times, from and after the said messuage or tenement, erections and buildings on the said piece of ground hereby demised shall be respectively completed and finished, during the remainder of the said term hereby granted, when, where, and as often as need or occasion shall be and require, at his and their own proper costs and charges, well and sufficiently repair, uphold, support, maintain, pave, purge, scour, cleanse, empty, amend, and keep the said messuage or tenement, messuages or tenements, erections and buildings, and all the walls, rails, lights, pavements, privies, sinks, drains and watercourses thereunto belonging, and which shall in any wise belong or appertain unto the same, in, by, and with all and all manner of needful and necessary reparations, cleansings, and amendments whatsoever, the whole to be done to the satisfaction of the Surveyor of Her said Majesty, Her Heirs, Successors, or Assigns; AND THE SAID messuage or tenement, messuages or tenements, erections, buildings and premises, so being well and sufficiently repaired, sustained and amended, at the end, or sooner determination of the said term, shall and will peacebly, and quietly deliver up to Her said Majesty, Her Heirs, Successors, or Assigns; AND ALSO that it shall be lawful for Her said Majesty, Her Heirs, Successors, or Assigns, or Her, and their Agent, or any person or persons deputed by him, or them, to enter into, and upon the premises hereby demised, at any reasonable hours in the day time, within the last seven years of the aforesaid term of nine hundred and ninety-nine years, to take a Schedule, or Inventory of all, and every the fixtures and things to be yielded up at the expiration thereof, as aforesaid, AND ALSO that the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his executors, administrators, and assigns shall and will during

the term hereby granted, as often as need shall require, bear, pay and allow a reasonable share and proportion for, and towards the costs and charges of making, building, repairing, and amending, all, or any roads, pavements, channels, fences, and party walls, draughts, private or public sewers, and drains, requisite for, or in, or belonging to the said demised premises, or any part thereof, in common with other premises near or adjoining thereto, and that such proportion shall be fixed, and ascertained by the Surveyor of Her said Majesty, Her Heirs, Successors, or Assigns, and shall be recoverable in the nature of rent in arrear; AND FURTHER that it shall, and may be lawful to and for Her said Majesty, Her Heirs, Successors, or Assigns, by Her, or their Surveyors, or other persons deputed to act for Her, or them, twice or oftener in every year during the said term, at all reasonable times in the day, to enter and come into and upon the said parcel of ground hereby demised, and into any messuages or tenements, which may at any time be built thereon, to view, search and see the condition of the same, and of all decays, defects and wants of reparation and amendment, which upon every such view, or views shall be found, to give, or leave notice or warning in writing, at or upon the said demised premises, unto, or for the said, D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his executors, adminis- trators, or assigns, to repair and amend the same within three Calendar Months, then next following, within which said time, or space of three Calendar Months,

after every such notice or warning shall be so given, or left as aforesaid, he the said, D. LUIGI AMBROSI, for himself his executors, administrators, and assigns doth hereby covenant, promise, and agree with Her said Majesty, Her Heirs, Successors, and Assigns, to repair, and amend all such decays, defects, and wants of reparation and amendment accordingly; AND FURTHER that the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his executors, administrators, and assigns, any other person or persons, shall not, nor will during the continuance of this demise, use, exercise, or follow, in, or upon the said premises or any part thereof, the trade or business of a Brazier, Slaughter- man, Soap-maker, Sugar-baker, Fellmonger, Melter of Tallow, Oilman, Butcher, Distiller, Victualler, or Tavern-keeper, Blacksmith, Nightman, Scavenger or any or either of them, or any other noisy, noisome, or offensive trade or business whatever, without the previous license of Her said Majesty, Her Heirs, Successors, or Assigns, signified by the Governor of the said Colony of Hongkong, or other person duly authorized in that behalf; AND ALSO that he the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his executors, administrators, or assigns, shall not, nor will let, underlet, mortgage, or otherwise assign over, or otherwise part with, all or any part of the said hereby demised premises, for all or any part of the said term of nine hundred and ninety-

nine

years, without at the same time registering such alienation in the Land Office, or in such other Office, as may hereafter be instituted for the purposes of Registra- tion, in the said Colony of Hongkong, and paying all reasonable fees and other expenses thereon. PROVIDED ALWAYS, and these presents are upon this express condition, that if the said yearly rent of Four shillings and two pence Sterling, payable in current dollars as aforesaid, hereinbefore reserved or any part thereof, shall be in arrear and unpaid by the space of twenty-one days next over, or after any or either of the said days whereon the same ought to be paid as afore-

said (being lawfully demanded upon, or at any time after the said twenty-one days, and not paid when demanded), or in case of breach, or non-performance of any, or either of the other covenants, clauses, conditions, agreements or provisions herein contained, and by and on the part and behalf of the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his executors, administrators, and assigns to be kept, done, and performed, then, and in either of the said cases, from thenceforth, and at all times thereafter, it shall, and may be lawful to and for Her said Majesty, Her Heirs, Successors, or Assigns by the Governor of Hongkong, or other person duly authorized in that behalf into and upon the said hereby demised premises, or any part thereof, in the name of the whole, to re-enter, and the same to have again, retain, repossess, and enjoy, as in Her or their first or former estate, as if these presents had not been made; and the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI, his executors, administrators, and assigns, and all other occupiers of the said premises, thereout and thence utterly to expel, put out, and amove, this Indenture or anything contained herein to the contrary notwithstanding.

IN WITNESS whereof the said D. LUIGI AMBROSI hath hereunto set his

hand and seal, the day and year first above written.

Signed Sealed and Delivered at Victoria,

Hongkong, In the presence of

(Signed)

JOSEPH SCOTT.

(Signed) D. L. AMBROSI, LS

Examined and Certified to be Correct.

(Signed) THOS. E. WALKER,

Surveyor-General.

A true Copy,

(Signed) EDW. J. ACKROYD,

Registrar.

Registered.

(Signed)

JOSEPH SCOTT.

HONGKONG.

REPORT

OF THE

COMMISSION

APPOINTED TO ENQUIRE INTO THE TRUTH OF CERTAIN CHARGES PUBLICLY

MADE AGAINST THE OFFICERS OF THE

PUBLIC WORKS

DEPARTMENT

1

MARCH, 1884.

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WITH APPENDIX.

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HONGKONG:

PRINTED BY NORONHA & Co.,

Government Printers.

1884. f

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COMMISSION BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR.

[L.S.] G. F. Bowen.

Whereas a memorial has been addressed to me by the Officers of the Public Works

Department, praying that enquiry should be instituted into certain charges which have

been publicly made against them; and whereas it is expedient that the prayer of the

memorialists should be granted; and that such enquiry should be instituted, and also

into the circumstances under which information respecting Departmental correspondence

has been communicated to persons not in the Government service: Now, therefore, I,

Sir GEORGE FERGUSON BOWEN, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order

of Saint Michael and Saint George, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Colony of

Hongkong and its Dependencies, and Vice-Admiral of the same, do hereby, with the

advice of the Executive Council, appoint the Honourable EDWARD LOUGHLIN O'MALLEY,

Attorney General, the Honourable ALFRED LISTER, Treasurer, and the Honourable

FRANCIS BULKELEY JOHNSON to be a Commission to make such enquiry, and to report

to me; and I hereby charge all persons in the public service to assist them therein; and

all persons having information to communicate respecting such charges are hereby

invited to furnish the same to the said Commission.

Given under my hand and the Public Seal of the Colony, this 22nd day of

December, 1883.

1

By Command,

W. H. MARSH,

Colonial Secretary.

REPORT.

p. 233.

The Commission appointed to enquire into the truth of certain charges publicly made against the Officers of the Public Works Department reports as follows ;—

2. The Commission held its first meeting in the Council Chamber on the 2nd January, Appendix and, having appointed a Secretary, resolved that an advertisement should be inserted in the local Newspapers, inviting all persons who might have any information to give upon the subject matter of its enquiry to communicate with the Secretary. It was ordered to be notified that all communications so made would be considered private and con- fidential if desired to be so.

3. Consideration having been given to the fact that the appointment of the Commis- sion had been occasioned by circumstances mainly arising out of statements made in a local Newspaper, the Secretary was instructed to write to the Editor and Sub-editor of the journal in question inviting their attendance before the Commission. The Secretary was moreover requested to deliver the letters in person, and to state that any evidence the Editor or Sub-editor might wish to afford would be taken by the Commission either publicly in the presence of reporters, or privately, as the witnesses might elect. Appendix Both Editor and Sub-editor declined to attend. The correspondence which ensued

will be found in the appendix.

pp. 240-42.

4. No persons responded to the public invitation of the Commission to come forward, but the Commission has to express its thanks to several gentlemen who, in conformity with requests made privately, have attended and given much valuable information. The Commission is also under obligation to Major MULLOY, R.E., and Mr. FLEMING of the Royal Engineers Department, for the personal assistance they have given to the enquiry, as well as to His Excellency the Major-General Commanding the Troops for facilitating the attendance of these gentlemen.

5. The Commission, in the course of its sittings, 18 in number, has examined in addition to the witnesses referred to in the foregoing paragraph, nearly the whole of the staff of the Public Works Department, as well as the officers connected with the Colonial Secretary's, Treasurer's and Audit Departments, with most of the Chinese Contractors employed by the Government on Public Works, and has been furnished with all Official documents and records for which it has had occasion to call in pursuit of its enquiries.

༈ ་

6. The subjects to which the enquiries of the Commission were directed by His Excellency the Governor, were two, viz. :—

1st. The truth of certain charges which had been made against the Officers of the

Public Works Department.

2nd. The circumstances under which information respecting Departmental corres-

pondence had been communicated to persons not in the Government Service.

Appendix pp. 77, 79, 81, 87, 92, 102, 104, 107, 113,

115, 218, 243.

(vi)

7. With regard to the first subject, the Commission has found considerable difficulty in ascertaining the precise nature of the charges of which the Officers of the Public Works Department have complained. The vague although not the less serious allega- tions of corruption to which public currency was given by the Hongkong Telegraph were so guarded as not to admit of direct enquiry being made in respect of them, and the Commission has found a good deal of its time unsatisfactorily employed in the endeavour to gather from the witnesses who have given evidence any facts known to them, or state- ments made to them, unfavourably affecting the system adopted by the Department in carrying out Public Works or the character of its Officers. In substance the allegations which have come in any form to the notice of the Commission, or which may be inferred from the evidence, have been as follow:-

a. That insufficient publicity is given to advertisements calling for tenders for Public Works, and that partiality and favouritism are shown in selecting the tender to be accepted.

b. Extravagance in the execution and cost of Public Works.

c. Corruption amongst the Overseers of the works, in the form of taking bribes or presents offered as inducements to them for passing bad work, inferior material, or excessive measurements, and generally for conniving at irregularities on the part of the Contractors.

8. With reference to these the Commission reports that,

a. The evidence taken from the Officers of the Royal Engineers, the professional witnesses engaged in private practice as Architects, and the Surveyor General and his Officers, is conclusive that the system adopted by the Public Works Department in calling for tenders and in settling contracts is as satisfactory as that adopted by the Royal Engineers, or by private firms, no practical improvement on which has been suggested by any of the gentlemen examined. The Commission has had before it a list of all contracts undertaken by the Colonial Government for Public Works during the last three years, from which, as well as from the evidence, it appears that the rule has been, and is, to accept the lowest tender unless there is some special reason to the contrary, such as the notorious insolvency or incompetence of the person tendering. The Contractors usually employed by the Government are described by impartial witnesses as sufficiently numerous to ensure fair competition, and as comprising nearly all the most responsible and best workmen in the Colony.

b. Similar independent evidence is also satisfactory as regards the cost and character of the execution of Public Works. All the professional witnesses who have been examined testify to the generally superior quality of the work done for

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1

Appendix pp. 81, 120, 121.

Appendix

pp. 100, 101, 145, 146, 148, 177-9, 185-8, 215, 230.

(vii)

the Government, and, with one exception, believe the prices paid on the whole to be just and reasonable, and, quality considered, not higher than those paid by private persons. The one witness whose opinion forms an exception to this general concurrence of testimony regards the cost of work done by the Depart- ment as about five per cent in excess of that incurred by private firms, and gives as the main reason that Government Work everywhere is naturally somewhat dearer than that undertaken privately.

e. No evidence has been forthcoming of a single case of a bribe having been accepted

by an Officer of the Public Works Department during the administration of the Honourable Mr. PRICE, or, in his absence, during that of the Acting Sur- veyor General, Mr. BOWDLER. Two allegations of bribery made to a witness who appeared before the Commission have been carefully investigated, with the result that, in the one case the Chinese Builder who is stated to have said that he paid money to the Inspector of Water-works for allowing water to remain laid on when it ought to have been cut off, has, on coming before the Com- mission denied that he ever made the statement; and in the other the charge was ascertained by the Commission to have been made not only on no authority, but to have had no foundation in fact and to be wholly false. The particulars relating to these two cases will be found fully detailed in the appendix. It is unquestionable nevertheless, according to the evidence before the Commis- sion, that statements unfavourably affecting the character of a certain class of the Officers of the Public Works Department have been in circulation in the Colony. So far as the Commission has been able to trace them, these state- ments, with the two exceptions referred to above, have not been specifically made in point of person, circumstance, or time; and appear to have been based upon second hand general allegations not entitled to credence, considering that they have not borne the test of enquiry. All the witnesses who have spoken to such unauthenticated rumours have positively denied that they themselves have had any knowledge of corrupt transactions.

9. Almost all the native Contractors* usually employed by the Government have been examined, and one and all state that they have no complaint to make against the Public Works Department, excepting that payment of their bills is sometimes unduly delayed, and that until recently they were compelled to take part payment to the extent of ten per cent of their claims in copper coins, upon the sale of which the loss was about ten per cent. This irregular practice has now ceased, and was occasioned, as the Com- Appendix mission is informed, by the necessities of the Treasury to pass into circulation a super- 91, 93-7, abundant supply of this subsidiary coinage. As far as the Commission can ascertain, no 158. pecuniary advantage accrued to any individual from this arrangement. As might be

pp. 80,

137, 146,

*The Commission was unable to call for the attendance of any Contractors until close upon the Chinese New Year, by

which time some of them had left for the mainland.

pp. 23, 82,

105, 109,

220, 232.

(viii)

expected, the Contractors positively deny having given bribes to the Officers of the Public Works Department, although they admit that the practice of sending annual presents of no great value is a common one.

10. The well known custom of the Chinese in the matter of giving vails and surreptitious commissions to employés, and the statements made by more than one of Appendix the witnesses, leave no room for doubt that presents, not only of jewellery and other 84, 85, 89, valuable articles, but also of money, are not unfrequently offered by Native Contractors 113, 150, and others to the persons appointed to superintend both public and private works. It is obvious therefore that opportunities exist for the acceptance of such presents by Officers of the Public Works Department without much risk of such transactions becoming known to their official chiefs. The professional gentlemen in private practice who have been examined do not consider that the Government system of supervising works is more open to abuse, or lends itself more readily to corruption of any kind than that Appendix commonly applied to the inspection of private works; or that it can be improved, excepting 82-5, 102, in one particular, with regard to which the attention of the Commission has also been

204-12.' specially called by the Assistant Surveyor General and Mr. FLEMING.

pp. 78,

106, 110,

116, 122,

11. The class of Officers in the Public Works Department whose position renders them most exposed to temptation are the Overseers, whose ordinary duty is to super- intend the carrying out of contracts and the general detail and character of work done by Contractors and others. It is mainly upon the reports of these Officers, subject to supervision by the Surveyor General or his Deputy, that work is passed and payments are made, and it is no doubt necessary that more or less trust and confidence should be reposed in them. But, in addition to the duty of superintending work, it appears that the Overseers are frequently called upon to undertake another, viz. the measuring of piece work, and checking, approving, and settling the amounts of bills sent in for payment, for the efficient performance of which the evidence tends to show they are as a rule scarcely qualified, and in respect of which, in the opinion of the Commission, too great responsibility is vested in them. The Commission is of opinion that a special Officer, or more than one if necessary, thoroughly qualified for this duty, and of assured character and sufficiently paid, should be appointed, whose peculiar province it should be to measure work in progress or completed, and to compare calculations based upon the figures thus taken with the original estimates framed in the Surveyor General's Office, so as to provide an independent and trustworthy check upon the accounts which are sent in for payment by the Government. This Officer might also undertake the duty of supervising the Overseers, and be made useful in assisting the Surveyor General and his Deputy in the superintendence of the Public Works in progress, and in inspecting the material used by the Contractors.

12. The Commission moreover is inclined to attach much weight to the recommenda- tion of the Surveyor General that a class of men generally superior to those now employed, and better remunerated, should be engaged as Overseers.

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(ix)

Appendix pp. 191-4,

13. The Commission desires to remark furthermore that the system adopted by the Government, in making payments to the Chinese who are employed on Public Works, is unnecessarily overburthened with check and countercheck, designed no doubt for the purpose of protecting the revenue, but actually so dividing and distributing responsi- bility as, in a great measure, to defeat the object in view, and interposing obstacles to the speedy discharge of bills which can hardly fail to involve much loss and vexation to Public Creditors. The Commission does not regard it as within the scope of its functions to do more than call the attention of His Excellency the Governor to this administrative defect, which appears to be a serious one, but to which an efficient remedy may easily be applied.*

14. The Commission finds evidence of a practice, apparently common in the Surveyor General's Office, for the Chinese clerks to make out bills for the more illiterate class of Contractors, from whom they receive remuneration. In view of the tendency of native employés to exact illicit commissions, the Commission regards this practice as one open to grave abuses, and suggests that it should be stopped, or limited to occasions where it may be unavoidable and adopted by express permission.

15. The Commission is compelled to draw the attention of His Excellency the Governor to the utter disregard of truth displayed by Mr. KAM CHU-SHEUNG in giving his evidence on this subject.

16. The Commission recommends that the acceptance of presents of any kind by the Officers of the Department, excepting by express permission of His Excellency the Governor, should be absolutely prohibited.

p. 138.

With regard to the second subject of enquiry ;

17. The Commission has had before it the various members of the Colonial Secre-

tary's and Surveyor General's Departments, and has come to the conclusion that the unauthorised communication to the Editor of the Hongkong Telegraph, or to some person through whom it reached him, of a letter addressed by the Honourable Mr. PRICE to the Colonial Secretary, dated the 8th January, 1883, must have been the deliberate act of some person either in the Colonial Secretary's Office or in that of the Surveyor General. Appendix The Commission rejects as untenable the suggestion made by Mr. GOULBOURN, the clerk who copied and had charge of Mr. PRICE's draft of the letter in question, that such draft was casually read by some one of the many Officers who make use of the room in the Public Works Department in which he sits. It is incredible that not only should the attention of a person not engaged in the office have been accidentally drawn to this particular letter; but that he should have found an opportunity to carefully make notes of it, and subsequently acquaint himself with an official number attached to documents of the kind only some time afterwards when they are permanently filed.

* The Commission learns with pleasure that this suggestion is in course of adoption.

( x )

18. The Commission, after an examination of the three Chinese clerks in the Surveyor General's Office, is inclined to acquit them of any complicity in this breach of official trust, which has evidently been committed by some person in the Department either of the Surveyor General or Colonial Secretary who is well acquainted with the current correspondence. The Commission is of opinion that this improper use of an official document must have been induced by corrupt influence.

Hongkong, March 10th, 1884.

EDWARD L. O'MALLEY.

ALFRED LISTER.

F. BULKELEY JOHNSON.

APPENDIX.

EVIDENCE.

FIRST MEETING,

COUNCIL CHAMBER, 2nd January, 1884.

Present: Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

"}

A. LISTER, Treasurer.

F. B. JOHNSON.

""

Mr. PRICE attends.-In reply to certain questions he states that blackmail might be levied on Contractors for allowing inferior work to pass, or by refusing to countersign Contractors' Bills; that some time back an Overseer named POWER was dismissed for

not seeing that a certain work was finished within the contract time; that no work is put up for contract without a specification, the preparation of which he himself super- vises; that the schedule of prices is low, considering the quality of the work done by the Department; that work done by Government is superior to that generally done for Messrs. BIRD & PALMER, Messrs. DANBY & LEIGH and other private firms; that tenders are not in the hands of rings, there are 16 respectable Contractors and that he does not generally accept tenders except from some of these; that as a rule 12, 14, or 17 tenders are received; that the rule laid down by Sir JOHN POPE HENNESSY Was that upon open competition the lowest tender should be accepted, but that he, Mr. PRICE, stopped that system; that its result was to place contracts in the hands of gamblers and men of straw; that it was the rule to require each tenderer to deposit $50 as a pledge of his bonâ fides, but that he, Mr. PRICE, put a stop to that also; competition is now practically limited to the 16 or so selected by him as being respectable; other competitors are excluded; he does not suspect his subordinates of allowing inferior work to pass. Mr. PRICE gives the history of a contract and explains the system of carrying out and paying for Public Works at length. He is requested to, furnish a complete series of documents illus- trating a contract, including requisition, advertisement, specification, &c., from beginning to end. Also a tabular statement showing the particulars of all contracts of construction for the last 3 years.

(

THIRD MEETING,

COUNCIL CHAMBER, 5th January, 1884.

Present:-Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

>>

A. LISTER, Treasurer.

F. B. JOHNSON.

""

J

Mr. BOWDLER is called.-On behalf of the Officers in his department he informs the Commission that they intend to forward a memorial to the Governor praying that the enquiry may be made public instead of private. He is then examined and states

(2)

that he has been in the service 9 years last September, and was Acting Surveyor General for about 1 year and 9 months in the years 1881 and 1882; that the system of contracts when he was in charge of the Department is fairly well adapted to Hongkong; that he is unacquainted with the present system; that for important works tenders from 6 to 7 Contractors are received, for minor works from 10 to 12; that many so-called Contractors who would be inclined to tender if unrestricted are unfit to do the work for

which they tender; that as a general rule the Contractors sublet to others and in many instances the Government Overseers have to do the work which ought to be done by Contractors' foremen, consequent upon the incompetence of sub-contractors; that private architects go outside the Contractors usually employed by Government,-some Con- tractors prefer to work for private firms because they are paid better and have less trouble with private people; that Government works cost less than private works considering the superior character of the work done. He thinks that every Contractor should have a competent knowledge of the works he undertakes; that he has no reason for suspecting any of the staff of receiving bribes; that opportunities do exist for receiv- ing bribes, viz:-In making out Contractors' bills; in passing bad work; in doing work for incompetent Contractors; also in keeping back bills; that he insisted upon the fine system for overtime being introduced; that he enforced it on two occasions, once in con- nection with the turfing on Kennedy Road and again in connection with a sewer in High Street; that these fines were afterwards remitted, one by Governor HENNESSY, the other by Mr. MARSH; that he has heard rumours of Officers receiving presents; he thinks that the system of giving Christmas presents in the shape of turkeys, cigars, &c. should be stopped; he had heard it said outside that Officers of the Department received bribes, but he had no knowledge of such cases himself, and during the time he was Acting Head of the Department, or before or since, he had no reason to suspect anyone; that no partiality is shewn in the existing system of the distribution of contracts, but he is not now practically acquainted with the system; he is strongly of opinion that each Overseer should certify by certificate to the work which he is deputed to oversee in order to fix responsibility, instead of merely, as now, initialling the bills sent for payment; that a separate appointment should be made of a surveyor to undertake the measurement of work done otherwise than by contract; that the present staff is incompetent to do this work; that the duty of measuring work when contracts are not taken is done under the present system inaccurately by Overseers who are not competent for the post; that Messrs. CRAMP & HOWROYD, Clerks of Works are the only competent persons, of the class of Clerk of Works, on the Staff qualified to undertake such work; that advertisements appear in the Chinese supplement to the Gazette, and on the Notice Board outside the Office; he thinks this not sufficient circulation for Contractors and that the supplement to the Gazette in English and Chinese should be distributed gratis; that the deposit system is a good one; that the scale of prices is low; that Government work is not paid for too highly, rather the reverse; that inferior work can often be covered up which it would be im- possible for the Surveyor General to see if the Overseers fail in their duty; that on all important Government Works there is a special Overseer always on duty and that such

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works are visited two or three times a week or as often as may be necessary by a superior officer. For example in the case of the Water Police Station it is Mr. BAYNE'S duty to supervise the work daily and his (Mr. BOWDLER'S) business to visit the build- ing frequently.

The Commission adjourns to meet on Tuesday the 8th instant at 4 P.M.

It was resolved to engage the services of a short-hand writer to take down evidence verbatim at future meetings.

FOURTH MEETING.

8th January, 1884.

Present:-The Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

A. LISTER.

""

>>

F. B. JOHNSON.

Mr. BOWDLER is recalled, and the notes of the evidence given by him at the last sitting are read over.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-There was one other point in your evidence which I do not think we have here. You said the estimated cost of the work was made out before the work was put up for tender?

A. Yes, before the tenders come in.

Q.-Are the tenders as a rule above or below that estimate?

A. Sometimes below, sometimes above; oftener below than above. They are occasionally above, but as a rule they are a little below.

Q.-You do not know by whose order it was the system of accepting the lowest tender was stopped?

A.-No, I do not, I did not know it was stopped.

-Hon. A. LISTER.-I think I understood you to agree it was not always advis- able to accept the lowest tender?

A. Certainly. It is not advisable. It is not done in private practice.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Now I ask you if you can recollect the names of any of those persons whom you have heard suggest that the Officers of the department receive

bribes?

A.-Made bad remarks against the department; not that bribes were received.

-Well I forget the words used, but I think it was something like that.

A.—I do not think I would be justified in repeating private conversation.

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Q.-You say you don't think you would be justified in mentioning the names of those parties?

A.-No; certainly not.

In private; in confidence to the Commission. I put it to you, you are bound.

A.-I don't think so. I was asked if I had ever heard of such a thing, and I said I had heard it suggested. There was one person, as I told you on Saturday, when I remembered just at the moment.

.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-We want to know who the people are who say so?

A. That was a remark with reference to Mr. NEATE.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-You say you know certain persons have given currency to certain charges circulating against the Officers of the Public Works Department. You know there are persons who are.saying or have said that the officers do receive or have received bribes. Now if you are able to lay your hands on the names of any persons who have set this afloat or given currency to it surely it is your duty to tell us.

A.-I don't remember them.

Q.-But can't you?

A.-No. I have heard persons say so, but I hear so many things in this Colony about different people that it goes in at one ear and out as quickly at the other, and I never go anywhere on that account. Probably there is no place in the world where people are more talkative than in Hongkong.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-The more reason why you should try to now enable us to put down such rumours if they have no truth in them.

-The CHAIRMAN.-The character of your department is now in question. You have the means of giving us a clue by which we may be put on inquiry.

A.—No, I have not. If I had I would assist you.

Q.-You say you have heard this.

A.-Something here and something there; but these rumours generally occurred in the papers.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Precisely, but the statements made have been so recent, surely you could recollect them.

A.-No, I don't. I heard that one case I mentioned on Saturday. It was Mr. ROMANO, and he said he knew how these things were worked, or something to that effect, and that he could not get his work done because he did not do so. When I taxed him with it he said he was in a bad temper and did not know what he was saying.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Well how did he put it?

A.-He made application about a building, and the foundation was not in accord- ance with the Ordinance, and Mr. NEATE would not pass it. He was at home at the

J

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;

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time; his wife had just died, and there was no one finally appointed to do his work. Mr. ROMANO was in a great state of mind and very much put out apparently about his

work being put off and he said Chinamen could get their work passed and this and that

and he knew how it was done.

Q. Did he say that to you?

A. He did.

Q-And he knew the position you occupy?

A. And I called him to account in a moment and he retracted it.

Q.—What did you say?

A.-I forget the words. I think I was rather rough on him.

Q.-And he retracted it?

A. He retracted what he had said.

Q.-Do you know anything of Mr. ROMANO?

A. No; I just spoke to him and that is all.

-How did he come to speak to you about this?

A.-He came into the office.

-On purpose?

A.-About this work. I did not know the particulars because Mr. NEATE was not here. He was at home.

-And was the work allowed to go on?

A.-I don't know what became of it afterwards. I never heard anything more

about it.

2.-Well, that is the kind of thing. Are there not others who have said the same

thing?

cient.

A.-No, not like that.

Q.-Not so straight?

A.-No. They would not have done it twice, at any rate; once would be suffi-

Q.-And do you mean that is the only one you can specify?

A.-The only one I can specify that said anything definite. It is seldom I speak to any one except the Officers of the department. There are few people I know outside. There is no one in the Colony knows fewer persons than I.

Q.-No complaints have ever been made to you?

A.-No.

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--Of dishonesty?

A.-No.

Q.-On anything else?

A.-No.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER-How would this system act: that all the skilled labour should be in the hands of the Overseers, and they should do the work they now have to do sometimes-set out the work and lay lines and levels-and that the Contractor should be simply looked upon as a man to provide so many bricklayers and coolies, as a man to supply so many hands and feet, the brain work being supplied by the Overseers?

A.-It would reduce it to day labour, and the men would do little or no work. If you employ the coolies by the day you would not get half the work out of them as out of men employed by the piece.

Q.-But you could still make your contract with the men to do the work. You want a road made, say; You get a Contractor to make it, and let him make his own arrangements with his men; the only thing is that instead of expecting him to supply the brains the overlooker supplies the brains and the Contractor the muscle.

WITNESS.-No, he does not do manual work, but he has to get things out.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON-What do you mean?

Hon. A. LISTER-Putting in the pegs.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON-That is manual work.

The CHAIRMAN-There is the ditch being made at Murray Barracks for instance: In order to lay its level they stretch a string. As I understand, the Contractor is a man not competent himself to set that line in a satisfactory way, and practically the Overseer, who ought really to see the work correspond to such a line, has to go

and show

him how to set the line?

A.—If you have a channel perhaps you do not want it so shallow in parts because there is less water to carry. To get that regular you have to set it out in sections, and all that has to be set out by the Overseer.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Does not all that rather point to this, that the contract for

•Government works ought to be rather a labour contract than a works contract?

A.-No; I think not.

Q.-I mean that all the laying out and setting and arranging should be in the

hands of the Government?

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-That is to say it would need a much larger staff?

The CHAIRMAN.-Yes, but they have to do it now sometimes.

A.-It would lead to a good deal of confusion.

Į

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Hon. A. LISTER.-How many Contractors are there you can trust with this kind of work-who can be trusted with this setting out?

A.-About one half.

Q.-And naturally you prefer these men?

A.-When we can get them.

Q.-You think it would not do to let it be understood it is the Overseer's work to lay the levels and so forth and that the Contractor is there simply to supply labour and do as the Overseer tells him?

[

A.-No; I don't think so.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You mean you would not fix the responsibility? You have a definite piece of work to be done according to. a plan. Who is responsible for that? If there is a piece of work to be done by a Contractor according to plan and the Overseer has to lay it out, which of the two would be responsible?

The CHAIRMAN.-It would shift the responsibility. There is one question I should like to ask, you have pointed out certain matters in which you say the opportunity for bribery or corruption may possibly exist. Can you suggest any others?

WITNESS.-Which were those?

Q.-Well, for instance, that the pay Clerks have the opportunity of keeping back papers, and might make a squeeze?

A. Yes.

Q.-And the man who measures up the work?

A. He would be more likely to be paid for doing work outside his duty.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Private work?

A. Yes.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Well, is there any other part of the business in the Surveyor General's Department where you think opportunities may arise for squeezes?

A.-Nothing strikes me at present.

to you?

-But you must have thought it over a good deal, and after all nothing occurs

A.-No.

Q.-I will just ask you this: Have the materials that are to be used to be passed?

A.-In the contract do you mean?

Q.-Yes, the materials used by the Contractor in carrying out the works?

A. Certainly.

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Q.-That is to say, soft-wood instead of hard-wood, a particular sort of granite and cement?

A. Certainly, all that is specified.

Q.-Well, is there such an opportunity in that?

A. Of course there is, if there is no one to look after it.

.—Is there not a larger opportunity there than in all the other things together?

A.-No. In mixing concrete for instance, I do not know what system Mr. PRICE adopts; I have got my ideas and he has his. What I do myself is this: I never have it put down as it is mixed; I have it mixed two or three days beforehand. That gives me the opportunity of seeing it. When I look at it I can see whether it contains the right quantities or not, and if I have any doubt I mix the same quantities and compare them. The Contractors know this is constantly occurring. Then if possible we have always a man not the Overseer, standing by to see the concrete mixed, because that is one of the things they can swindle in. Wood you can always see, and so also with granite; it costs as much to cut one kind as another, and the cost of the raw material is not very different. The main point is the mixing of concrete.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-I saw in one of these contracts, "Good shell lime, free from

core or sand."

Could not the Overseer wink at a worse description?

A.-You can only get one kind. It is all very bad. I don't know another any

different.

-There is no inferior kind to be got?

A.-No; it is all inferior; that is, the quality is perhaps good, but it contains core

and sand, because it is made from coral, and it will not burn, at least it will burn, but it will not slake. Consequently you never get quick lime. It is most difficult to get quick lime in Hongkong; it has to be brought down from Canton.

Q.-Do you think there is no chance for the Overseers to make money by allowing the Contractors to use bad materials?

A.-Not in lime.

Q. Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-According to you, then, it is preposterous to suppose any bribery or corruption can exist is your department.

A.-No.

Q.-That is what you are bringing us to. What are the weak points then?

A.--I don't know. It is for those who speak of them to point them out.

.—The CHAIRMAN.-Yes, but it is for you to show where they may exist. Sup- pose you were in charge of a house and thought there were some of the locks wrong, would you not think it your duty to go round and look after them? Suppose you heard it said people get in, you would not wait for those who said so to show where they get in, you would go round and look for yourself. department?

Have you done that in your

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A.-So far as I am aware.

Q. Can you suggest any doors or windows where they may get in?

A.-No; I don't know of any, and I have no reason to suppose there are any.

-If you can recollect any names that have occurred in conversation, such as that of Mr. ROMANO, it is your duty to tell us.

A.-People have never said anything definite. If they had I should remember it.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Do you think the Building Ordinance is strictly carried

out now?

A.-Fairly well carried out, especially when Mr. NEATE was here. Perhaps it is not so strictly carried out now, because the person at present in charge is not so well acquainted with it.

-But you think under Mr. NEATE's administration it was fairly and strictly

carried out?

A. Yes.

The Commission adjourns at 5 o'clock, until 5 o'clock on the 9th January.

FIFTH MEETING.

9th January 1884.

Present:-Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

29

A. LISTER.

Absent:-Honourable F. B. JOHNSON.

Mr. ORANGE is examined,-

-Hon. A. LISTER.-How long have you been in the Survey Department?

A.-Exactly a year to-morrow.

Q-I believe you are the engineer in charge at Tai-tam?

A. Yes.

Q.-Have

you had time to form any idea of your own knowledge, as to the way in which contracts are let out and the general administration of contracts here, the obtaining of tenders for work, and so on?

A. You see I know nothing whatever about the working of the department. I am entirely and solely for the Tai-tam Water-works and have nothing to do with the other work of the department,

( 10 )

Q.-Still, have you formed any idea of

your own?

A.-No. I don't know what the practice is at all.

Q. Did you go straight to Tai-tam when you came?

A. Yes. I have never been in the office at all.

Q.-Have you ever, in conversation with others, heard any particulars about the working of the department in these respects, or picked up any information which you could give us on the scope of this inquiry?

A.-Well, I can't say I have not, but I must say I should not like to say anything unless it is strictly public, according to that letter I signed of Mr. BOWDLER'S.

Q.-Is there anything you could or would say if it was perfectly public?

A.-No.

Q.-Well, in that case you might as well say it privately.

A.-I know nothing. I have heard in conversation plenty of things, but I should be very sorry to repeat anything because I could not prove it.

Q.-But that is the position in which every one is, and we should like you to tell us those things you have heard. That is why we are inquiring confidentially, because it is so hard on people to whom one of two things happen: either a man says I won't open my mouth at all in public, or else he mentions a lot of rumour and chit-chat, and all this is printed.

A. Yes, but no one would mention any rumour or chit-chat unless he could

prove it.

Q.-But

you see a number of these little things put together may point to some- thing, and that is the only way we can find anything. There is one circumstance I would call your attention to, and that is this. Within the last few years there have been a number of persons who have left the department and gone into private practice. Now I think I may say all these people, without exception, when they are fairly out of the department, talk. They say this or that. No one had a stronger opinion about the Survey Department or expressed it more strongly than Mr. ALFORD, who has gone home, unfortunately for our purpose, because I should have liked to call to his recollec- tion some things he said to me. He had a very strong opinion about the corruption which prevailed among the Overseers and the lower class of Clerks of Works: He expressed that opinion very strongly, but directly we ask any one in the department and who we may suppose is forming the same opinion these gentlemen who have left express, they say "I know nothing about it.”

A.—Well, I am in no better position than yourself. All I know is by the most casual conversation, but as for knowing anything myself, I have not been in a position to learn anything.

དྷྭ-

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Q.-No, you are not in a position to say a man receives bribes, because you don't see it.

A.-Nor am I in a position to say he could receive them.

Q.-But I wish you would give us some idea of the talk you have heard, because it gives some idea of the dangers to be guarded against. If you were to ask me about my own department, I know postmen may extort small sums of money by altering marks, and I know there have been cases; I can't say there is any man who does so now, but it is a danger to be guarded against. Could you tell us something like that?

A. No. I would not like to say anything that has been told me in conversation, because I don't think it is fair. The things I have heard, many of them I don't believe myself, and I should not like to repeat what I have heard in casual conversation and did not take much notice of.

-But without mentioning names could you not give us some idea of the general

drift of these statements?

A.-The general drift is that some Overseers may have taken bribes.

Q.-Exactly, and had opportunities for doing so?

A.—I suppose every one has opportunities of being dishonest.

-Have you ever heard it suggested some of these Overseers have a share in the

business of the Contractors?

A.-No, never.

Q.-Then in what general direction would this bribery come in? Would it be for specific neglect of duty, or in the shape of a gentle douceur at the beginning of the year?

A.-I can only imagine it would come in just as at home, where a Clerk of Works has been known to favour Contractors by passing work which he ought not to have passed. It is known at home.

Q.-There is a point on which you can give information. As far as you know does much of that go on at home?

A.—No, taken on the whole it does not, but still it is done.. I have known cases myself of passing bad work and favouring Contractors, and that is why Architects prefer to employ Clerks of Works themselves. That is the rule at home-not for the client to employ them, because the Architects know the Clerks of Works and very often keep them on when there is no employment, simply because they know they are honest.

Q-Have you any trouble at Tai-tam with Contractors who don't know their business, that is, who don't do the work they might fairly be expected to do, and you

have to do it for them?

A.-No, we have not come to that yet. Most of the work we have done so far has been day work, and we have had to show everyone what they have got to do. It will be so in a work of that sort, because it is entirely new.

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-The CHAIRMAN.-You signed the petition to the Governor for an inquiry?

A. Yes.

-What were the charges of corruption that you considered affected you?

A. I don't know I am sure. I rather objected to sign the petition because I don't know much about the department. I really signed because everyone else did.

Of course you have read the commission?

Q.-Of

A.-No.

Q.--Well, I think I ought to read you a passage in it: "I hereby charge all Officers in the Public Service to assist the Commissioners in their inquiry, and all persons having information to communicate are hereby invited to furnish the same to the Commissioners." Well, now, if you have heard anything said that refers to any corrupt practices by Officers in the Public Works Department, I put it to you that you ought to give us particulars, whether it is by hearsay or whether it is such stuff as may be made use of as proof. What we are seeking for now is clues upon which to make inquiry. You may give it to us in the most perfect confidence. What we are seeking for now is for clues to take hold of and pursue in our own way, and any names or particulars that

you may give us are in our opinion material for our purpose.

A.-Yes, but as I told Mr. LISTER, I have only heard it in private conversation, and I don't think what I have heard in private conversation with my own personal friend, I should say.

Q.-Well, you

know men's characters are taken away by private conversation as much as they are by a man speaking from the house top?

A. Yes, but I may take them away more by repeating that, and I don't feel justified in repeating anything I am not in a position to prove.

-You will be in a position to prove this was said?

-

A. Yes, but this is a private conversation, I don't feel justified in repeating it. Everyone hears things in private conversation he does not feel justified in repeating.

??

Q.-If these private conversations are spoken of as Mr. FRASER-SMITH speaks of them in the article, and everyone says: "It is private conversation, I cannot repeat it, it creates the most damning slander-an immense number of private statements not one

of which can be tested?

A.-Yes.

Q.-Surely it would be right to give the names?

A.-I cannot say I have heard against a certain man a certain thing. All I have heard is what is in the newspapers, that work can be done outside at less cost, that it is generally supposed Overseers do take bribes, and the question: how is it possible for men to live on the salaries?

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Q. That is the kind of talk you have heard?

A. Yes.

Q.-Then I understand your objections to give us names arises, not from our inquiry being in private, but because you have nothing to give us?

A.-Nothing you could take hold of.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Is it the opinion of the Officers of the department that work could be done cheaper by outside people?

A.-I don't know, because I have no communication with the Officers of the de- partment. I know one thing, about our own work at Tai-tam, that no one could possibly do it cheaper than we are doing it. I consider so far the work has been done at the lowest cost, and that no one could have got it done cheaper.

-Then these people who thought the work could be done cheaper were outside

persons?

A.-Outside persons. We must have heard the same thing.

Q.-Well, in some points I confess to having had the same opinion. Governor HENNESSY gave me much trouble about this. If I wanted a box a foot long I was to ask the Surveyor General for it instead of getting it made myself. I always held I could get these things done cheaper than by the Surveyor General. At the same time I am willing to admit they were done much better by his Department. Then as far as

you

know no Officer of the department holds that opinion?

کر

A.-As far as I know, no.

-The CHAIRMAN.-Then you have never heard any individual allege that any Officer of the department had been guilty of any act of squeezing or corruption?

A. I have heard it in general terms.

Q.-But you have never heard any individual state, either that he made any charge or had heard any charge made against any particular Officers? I mean it is one thing to hear people say, "oh, we all know well enough the Officers of the department get squeezes," and it is another for you to hear "oh, we have very good reason to believe that in the case of that work, so and so, who was Overseer, made a good thing of it?

A.-Well, as I told you before, I have heard names mentioned, but I consider they come in the light of a private conversation, privately held, and therefore I don't feel justified in repeating them.

Q.-Would you be willing to give the names in public?

A.-I would give the names of the persons with whom I had the conversation.

Q.--Hon. A, LISTER.-Oh, we will print them in the Daily Press to-morrow if

you like.

A.-If I am on my oath and so on I am compelled to,

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Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-It would be most material to us if we could obtain such names.

A.-I think you know the names of persons who could give much more information on that point than I could.

Q.-Will you mention some one?

A.-I think if you ask a man like Mr. DANBY for instance, he could give all the information, and it is principally in conversations with Mr. DANBY that I have learnt anything I do know.

Q.—Hon. A. LISTER.—Mr. DANBY has been your principal informant?-

A. Yes.

Q-Does Mr. LEIGH know anything about it?

A.-He naturally knows a good deal about the department.

Q. Has he made statements to you?

A.-We have had conversations. He is a man who could give you a vast amount of information.

Q.-These gentlemen, at least one of them, says he would rather not have anything

That is where the difficulty comes.

to say.

not.

A. Then they can decline?

Q.-They stand on a different footing. You are a Government servant; they are.

A.-I consider myself quite outside the Survey Department. With the general work of the department I have nothing to do. Mr. PRICE himself could not ask me to take outside work and say "you must do this part of the departmental work."

Q.-You are entirely for a particular work?

A.-I am a servant of the department, but I am detailed to Tai-tam, so that my opinion on the working of the department is not worth anything.

Q.-I don't know. I have no doubt if you were to remain in the department for ten or eleven years you would have a decided opinion one way or the other. That opinion must have begun to form.

A. Yes, but if I have not had anything to do with the department it is worth nothing.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Can you give us any more names than those of Mr. DANBY

and Mr. LEIGH?

A.-No; these are the only two I know who will give you the information you really want. Mr. DANBY especially, I think he would give you a vast amount of information.

( 15 )

Mr. CRAMP is examined,-

-Hon. A. LISTER.-I think your correct title is Clerk of Works?

A.-Yės.

Q-What sort of works are you mainly engaged on?

A.-Sundry repairs to buildings.

Q.-And roads?

A.-No, only repairs to buildings.

Q.-How long have you been in the department?

A.-Just twelve months.

Q. What Contractors do you mainly have to do with?

A.-SUN CHING, ATAN, YU LUM, APING, CHUN AHIM; I think that is about all.

Q.-Do

-Do you have much trouble with these men?

A.-Some of them; but ATAN is very good, I have no trouble with him, but most of the others I have a good deal of trouble with.

When a contract is about to be given is it in any way referred to you who you would recommend?

A.-No.

Q.-You know nothing about it until you are told to look after it?

A.-No.

Q.-Are you ever asked which Contractors you would recommend?

A.-No. Sometimes it is suggested to me to give certain work to a certain man, which I do.

Q.-Now I should like to ask you a plain question which will not be used against yourself. Have any of these ever offered you any money?

A.-No; not at all.

Q.-Or given you any present?

A.-

sent me.

-No; the only thing is that this Christmas I have had two or three hams, &c.,

Q.-From these Contractors?

A. Yes.

Q.-Nothing of more value?

A.-No.

Q.-I suppose you know there has been an immense deal of talk about Foremen, and Overlookers, and Clerks of Works taking bribes?

A.-Well, only from hearsay.

1

( 16 )

Q.-You have heard it?

A. Yes.

-Who are the people who say these things?

Q.-Who

A.-Really I can't say.

Q.-You came to the Colony a new man; who was the first person from whom you heard anything?

A.-Really I cannot tell.

Q. Do you think yourself there is any truth in it?

A.-Not from personal experience.

-But from what you have heard, do you think there is any truth in it with regard to other persons ?

A.—Well, I have only taken it as a matter of scandal myself. I have never taken any notice of it.

Q.-Have you ever had to put any pressure in these men to make them do their work properly?

A.—I have had to make them take it down and do it over again times and again.

Q.-Have they tried to get out of that?

A.-No; they have always been very willing to take it down and do it my way. So long as they knew me determined to make them do it properly they have done it.

Q.-I wish you could give us some ideas of the people who make these statements. A.-Really I cannot. I have taken it as a matter of scandal.

Q.-But who is it puts this scandal about? I think you could name one person..

A.—No, I don't think I could. I think when I first heard it I was staying at STAINFIELD'S and I heard it over the dinner table.

go

-Could you mention the names?

A.-No, I don't think I could from memory; there were many there.

Q.-Suppose you yourself were making some inquiry of this sort, who would you

to?

A.-Well, I could not, because I have made no friends since I have been in the Colony, and it is only a matter of hearsay,

Q.-Then really you don't know anything that would be of any use to us?

A.-No, I do not.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-You signed this memorial to the Governor did you not?

A. Yes.

Q.-What particular articles or charges had in

you your mind?

+

( 17 )

A.-None I could particularise, only that I thought it was a libel on the depart- ment generally.

Q.-That article in the newspaper?

A. Yes, of course I have read the articles in the newspapers.

Q.-Well, that article says, towards the end, “Mr. PRICE is reported to be a deter- mined opponent of the jobbery said to prevail so extensively amongst the subordinate members of the department."

A. That is the point,

-You say that is true?

A.-No, I do not.

Q.-That it is said to prevail?

A.-Oh yes, that it is said to prevail.

Q.-Well now it is upon that that this inquiry proceeds-the complaint with reference to that statement. You see the first thing we want to find out is who it is that puts these things about. Could you suggest any one to us from whom we could

make inquiries?

A.—No, I could not. As I say, I have made few friends since I have been in the Colony. I keep myself to myself and don't go about. The only place where I have heard these things was at the place I have mentioned, and it was over the table.

Q.-No names mentioned?

A.-No, merely the department generally.

Q.-With reference to that taking down of work, I suppose as Clerk of Works you visit the works under

your control every few days?

A. Yes.

Q.-Then you find a certain amount of work four or five days' old?

A. I generally visit one each day if I can.

Q.-So

-So that you go to a particular one every four or five days?

Hon. A. LISTER.-I think I understand you get to each one once a day.

A. Yes.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Then I suppose there is never more than one day's work to pull down?

A.-No.

Q.—I mean you don't make them pull down a week's work?

A.—Oh, no.

( 18 )

Q.-The system does not work in that way?

A.-No, it is merely one day's work, sometimes merely a few hours' work.

Q.-Have you ever known of any Officer in the Public Works Department doing anything in the shape of taking a bribe or squeeze?

A.-No, I have never known such a thing to occur.

Q.-You have no reason to suspect it?

A.-No, I have no reason to suspect it.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-I believe there have been such remarks as this made: "I don't know how such a man can live on his salary." Can you tell us who are the men who live better than their salaries seem to allow?

A.-Really I cannot. I hardly know what the salaries are.

Mr. MCLEOD is examined,-

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-You are an Overseer in the Survey Department?

A. Yes.

Q. How long have you been in it?

A.-I have sixteen years' active service.

Q.-And what class of works do you chiefly look after?

A.-Roads, streets, and drains.

Q.-In sixteen years you must have seen a good deal?

A.-Well, yes, I have.

Q.-Have you during that sixteen years had any knowledge of men in the depart- ment making money in an improper way?

A.-No.

You remember LAWRENCE, Inspector of Buildings?

A.-Oh, yes.

Q.-He, if you remember, was sent to gaol, and he admitted, I think, that he had

taken bribes.

A. Yes, the case was proved.

Q.-Have you ever known any

A.-I have not.

other case in which money has been taken?

Q.-Has any Chinese Contractor ever offered you money?

A.-None.

:

1'

( 19 )

Q.-Nor attempted to offer you money ?

A.-No; I have never received any money from any Contractor.

Q. How do you get in with these Contractors? Do you find them troublesome?

A.-Very often they are troublesome-to get them to perform their contract. Very often I have to fetch them before the Surveyor General.

Q.-I suppose they send you presents at Christmas?

A.-Oh that is a recognised thing. I have always received a leg of mutton or a couple of fowls.

Q.-Nothing more than that?

A.-No. It is a custom in China. I saw it when I came.

Q.-Nothing more valuable?

A.—Well, they might send a small box of tea, I set no value on it. I take it as

it comes. Very often the chair coolies get it.

here.

Q.-You know, I suppose, there has been an immense deal of talk?

A. Of course I read the papers and see what is going on.

-Can you tell us at all who are the people who put these reports about?

A.-No.

-Then have stories been always going about more or less ever since You came

A.-I have heard such things going about, but more in a larking joking sort of way. I never believed anything of the sort.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-What were the charges you had in

you signed the Memorial?

A.-Charges of receiving money-bribes.

-Where were these charges made?

A.-I only read it in the papers.

Q.-Were you alluding to any particular article?

A. Yes, when SMITH alludes to rumours. I forget exactly.

your mind's eye when

Q.-"Mr. PRICE is reported to be a determined opponent of the jobbery said to prevail so extensively amongst the subordinate members of the department." You say it is said to prevail extensively?

A.—Oh, yes, people say so. At least they talk about it in the papers. I never heard much before SMITH commenced this.

Q.-You did not?

A.-You might hear a joke made between one and another.

( 20 )

Q.-But you never heard any one mentioned as having received a bribe or a squeeze?

A.-No, I never did.

Q.-Have you ever heard any one's name mentioned as an authority for such a

statement?

A. No.

Q.-For instance, has it ever been said so and so says so and so?

A.-No.

Q.-And you have no idea how these things get about?

A.-No; it is a creation, I think, of Mr. SMITH's own brain mostly.

Q. Hon. A. LISTER. I believe some of the Overseers get on much better with

Chinese than others?

A. Yes, some are mere patient and better tempered.

-Are some of them unpopular with them?

A.-No, not more than others.

-The CHAIRMAN.-When you have had to bring these men up before the Surveyor General what has it been for?

A. For not carrying out their work in a proper way, for not being up to time, or not putting enough men on.

Q. Are the works mostly up to time?

A.-Mostly. Sometimes it may be a few days over, but that is not pressed.

Q. And it is only in exceptional cases?

A. Yes, where we are dealing with a thoroughfare and it is necessary to have it through quickly, we pull them up if they don't come up to time.

Q.—And these are the cases you allude to?

A.--Yes, and very often where the work is not done properly.

-But your remedy is to pull the work down?

A. Yes, but that means delay. There is not a day but what an Overseer has to pull some of the work to pieces-scarcely a day. Only this morning I had to tumble

down a bit of drain at Jardine's Bazaar.

Q. Did you ever know a case of a man who got on swimmingly with Contractors?

A.-No.

Q.-As a rule they have to worry the Contractors? There is no particular friend- ship between them?

A.-No. Some Contractors get a little more work than others, but that has nothing to do with the Overseers. They may tender lower.

( 21 )

-But they don't always get work for tendering lower?

A. No, but if he is a good man he gets more work, of course.

Q. Are the Overseers consulted at all as to whether the men are good men or not?

A. Sometimes I have been asked what I thought of such a man and I have given my opinion.

-Out of a list of 16 or 17 Contractors you could mention one or two you would recommend?··

A. Yes.

.Q.-One man understands one kind of work and one another?

A. Yes.

Q.-Who is your

best for roads?

A.-At present SAU A-KING, and MIN SANG is a good man, but he has not done any work under me this many a day. He is a very good man.

SUN LEE is a very good worker, and ATAN is a good man too, but he is generally on house building.

-Hon. A. LISTER.-He does not do roads?

A.-Very seldom. Sometimes he does a little.

Q.-Some one told me the other day it is reported the Overseers have shares in the business of the Contractors. Have you ever heard of that?

A.-No; never.

Q.-You yourself never had a share?

A.-No.

Mr. DAVIS is examined,-

Hon. A. LISTER.-What is your position in the Public Works Department?

*A.—I have only been here about twelve months this time.

-You have been here before?

A.-I was sent out to do the Praya-wall.

Q. How long did you stay at that work?

A. Two years, the term of my engagement.

Q.-And you have been sent out again?

A. Yes, I came out for two years on the Tai-tam Works, but I am not on that work now,

( 22 )

Q. What are you doing now?

A.—I have been three months surveying in the Western district.

Q.-On what work?

A.-Roads and Drains and so on.

Q. Having been at these works you know very little about the department, 1 suppose?

A.-Very little.

Q.-You signed that Memorial?

A. Yes.

Q. What was it you objected to?

A.-I objected to it as being a general thing levelled at the whole of the department, not for myself, because I can stand before any one.

Q.—What Contractors do you generally have to do with?

A.--Do you mean these last three months?

Q.-Yes, not on your special works.

A.-The first was LAI KEE; he was to do my general jobbing work.

Q.-Then you have other Contractors?

A.-I am doing a drain in Robinson and Castle Roads, and the Contractor is TSANG AFAT. A dust-bin in Gap Street, the Contractor is YEE HING, he lives in Well- ington Street.

Q.-This man who is doing the drain, is he a good man? Does he understand the

work?

A.—Well, I don't know whether he understands the work; he is very dilatory.

Q.-Have you had much trouble?

*

A. Only being behind hand. You see these Contractors have a system of sublet- ting the work, and that humbugs the man who is looking after it, because if you find fault with them, these men who sub-contract take up their tools and off they go, and all I have to do is to fall back on the Contractor, and he will send other men.

There may be four sub-contractors on that drain.

Q.-And you don't know who they are?

A.—No, all I know is AFAT. If I want anything I go to him.

Q.-There was a good deal of trouble with the Praya works?

A.-Only on one section. I had no trouble with any section; that was between the Bank and Murray Wharf, and then from the Harbour Master's to Wing Lok Street. ·

I had no trouble there.

>

( 23 )

Q.-Have

Have any of these men come to you and offered you money?

A.-I never had but one offer, and that was on the Praya works. That was by a sub-contractor, and I refused it and told him I would bring him before the Surveyor General, and no one ever did it again.

men,

Q.-What did he offer you?

A.-I never looked at it. He said "Here is something for you," and I said "Be off."

Q.-Was it bank notes, or a bag, or what?

A.-I don't know. I had had some trouble with him before and stopped some of his

and in the evening he followed me on the road and said "Here is something for you." I said, "Look here my man, if you ever offer me anything like that again I will take you before the Surveyor General.”

Q.-You did not report him then?

A.-No.

Q.-Was he a foreman or a sub-contractor?

A.-I don't think I would know the man again. It was when I first came.

Q.

-I wish you would tell us exactly what was the difficulty. What was it you wanted them to do that they would not do?

́ A.—Mixing the quantities for the concrete.

Q.-I suppose really they wanted to keep lime out?

A. Yes, and also to give a deficiency in the measurement. We have to be very careful with our surface concrete or it all goes to pieces.

Q.-So you knocked all these men off?

A.-All the men who were mixing, and had a fresh lot.

Q.-And that is your only experience?

A. Yes.

Q.-Have you ever known money offered to any one else?

A.-No.

Q.-You know there has been a great deal of talk?

A.-Oh, there has been a great deal of talk, and I have a great deal myself, but you cannot believe all you hear.

Q.-No, but I wish you would tell us something you did hear.

A. Well, that would not do, because I hear so many things from one person and another.

Q.-But who are the man who say these things?

A.-Mostly men outside the department.

Q. Are they in the way of chaff ?

( 24 )

A.-I don't know whether it was chaff.

I

suppose

it was.

Q.-There is a great idea some men in the Survey Department can make a great

deal of money.

A.-Well, the best test would be to find out who has the most money. Some of them seem pretty well off.

Q.-Who are the men who seem well off?

A.-I am sure I don't know.

Q.-But you say they seem well off. You may have noticed.

A.-I have heard certain men spoken of as having certain amounts.

Q.-Who are the men spoken of as having large amounts of money ?

A.-I don't know.

Q.-Suppose you were yourself inquiring into this matter, to whom would you look to find out about it? There must be some one who has told you more perhaps than any one else about it.

A.-You see I am a complete stranger. I served two years, and I am out twelve months now, and I shall be going home next December, I have no means of learning anything about the Colony. I am out every morning at the prison.

Q.-You go out with the Convicts?

A.-I have to take their reports. I am out all day.

Q.-I think we may infer from what you say there would be no difficulty about anyone making money if so disposed.

get.

A.-Well, I don't know, I can't make money. I am quite satisfied with what I

Q.-Well, but this case that you mention?

A.—That was the first time, and I never have had it repeated. Perhaps he thought I was a fresh man, and he might have gone to the Surveyor General and reported me if I had taken it.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Well, you do hear it said about that there is corruption?

A. You cannot help but hear it. I have read of it in the papers.

Q.-But apart from the papers?

A. I have heard parties say it to-day, something that happened 15 years ago. I · say it is nonsense talking about 15 years ago and now.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Yes, a man named LAWRENCE?

A.-I don't know. He did not state. He said he thought it was a very good department, but that 15 years ago it was not so strictly looked after as now.

( 25 )

Q-Who was it who said this?

A. It was in ordinary conversation.

-But who was it?

A.—Oh, I should not like to bring anyone in who talks in ordinary conversation.

-But you see you have complained.

A. I have complained about no one.

-But you have signed your name to a complaint, I think you should help us

·

all you can. Who was the person who was talking about what happened 15 years ago? I think you might tell us that.

A.-Well, I don't see that it would help you-15 years ago.

***

The CHAIRMAN.-But we think it would. We have our own line of inquiry, and we think it very material.

A.-I must decline to bring in any person not connected with the department.

Q.-Could you not tell us some of the people?

A.-I should not like.

-We don't like sitting here to put these questions, but it is our duty, and it is your business to help us as far as you can.

A.-Well I have helped you as far as I can.

Q.—No;

-No; we ask who are the parties who say this?

A. That would not assist.

Q.—Well, but we say it would. We are the judges. Surely you can tell us some.

A.-I don't think it would be proper for me to say what an outsider said to me.

Hon. A. LISTER.-It cannot do him any harm.

The.CHAIRMAN.-You see the way the matter stands is this.

the matter stands is this. Here are a number

of the Officers of the department who complain that charges of corruption have been made against them. An inquiry is commenced to inquire into these charges, and these Officers come forward, and they say "charges are made against our department. They do allege corruption against us. We have heard such charges made. We decline to give you the names of the persons who made them."

A.-I speak about a person talking about 15 years ago, and that, would not help this Commission.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-It might or it might not.

A.—I was here two years. It is about five years since I first landed in the Colo- ny, so I don't know anything about 15 years ago. I can speak for myself since I have

been in it.

( 26 )

Q.-But since you have been back you have heard it said there is corruption?

A. I have read it in the papers.

Q.-But personally?

A.

No, not since I have been back. I have heard nothing against the Officers of the department.

Q.-No suggestion? No list?

A.-No; it was simply this person speaking to-day about 15 years ago. You

want to get at the present time.

Q.-I want to get at the people who put these reports about. And you cannot tell us a single name?

else?

A.-No, I cannot.

Q.-You have not got one to tell us; it is not that you won't?

A.-No; I would assist you if I could.

Q.-But you really cannot tell us a single name?

A.-No; I cannot.

Q.-And you have never seen anything?

A.-No, I have no charge against any person.

-You have never suspected anything against them?

A.-No.

Q.-Have you ever had any complaints made to you of any Overseer or any one

A.-No.

Q.—I suppose when you signed that Memorial what you complained of was that statement in the newspaper?

A. Yes, I was asked to sign it after I had read it.

Q.-Well, let me ask you this, you were asked to sign that, and you thought it reasonable and proper, and you signed it.

A. Yes.

Q.-In that what you say is this (reads Memorial). Now what sort of inquiry, public or private, what line of inquiry can you suggest ?

A.-I did not think of that when I signed that, but I could not suggest any line of inquiry myself.

>

1

'

( 27 )

Q.- You say you think you are entitled to a government inquiry. Could you

suggest any line of inquiry we could take, any witnesses we could call, any informa-

tion we could obtain?

A.-I have not been long enough in the Colony to give you any information, and you can see yourselves I could not give you any information. I was employed at Wong-nai Chung and had fever and was sent down to get better until Mr. WATTS returns.

The Commission adjourns until the 11th January.

SIXTH MEETING.

11th January, 1884.

Present: The Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

A. LISTER.

""

F. B. JOHNSON.

""

Mr. BEST is examined,-

Q.—Hon. A. LISTER.-You are an Engineer, I believe?

A. Yes.

Q.-Are you in charge of any special duty at present in the Survey Department?

A.-Special as Assistant Engineer.

Q.-Not in charge of any special work?

A.-No.

Q.-Then you are stationed in town, not outside?

A.-In town.

-How long have you been in the department?

A.—Twelve months and a few days.

Q. And the whole of that time you have been in Victoria?

A.—I was a fortnight at Tai-tam.

Q.-Practically you have been in town all the time?

A. Yes.

Q.—I

suppose you have heard a good deal of talk going about the Colony as to the alleged state of the department and so forth?

A.-I have heard the talk in the town and read the articles in the newspaper.

*

( 28 )

Q.-Have you formed any opinion of your own on the subject, or had you begun to form an opinion before this case cropped up?

A.-No.

Q.-You had not commenced to form an opinion?

A.-No; I was puzzled.

Q.-You were puzzled, you say?

A.-I was puzzled at the articles in the paper when I came to read them.

Q.-But have these articles been appearing the whole of the time you have been in the Colony?

A.-Some appeared directly I came here.

Q.-So this kind of thing has been going on all the time you have been here?

A. Yes.

Q.-Could you give us any idea how long you had been in the Colony before it occurred to you that there was any whisper of bribery or corruption in the Survey Department?

A.-The only idea I have at all is from these newspaper articles.

Q-Then of course they directed your attention to the subject-these newspaper articles and the talk about them?

A. Yes.

Q.-Have you seen anything yourself, or heard anything yourself, which would give you any information of your own on the point?

A.-No; I have not.

Q.-I suppose you know that most of the gentlemen who have been in the depart- ment, and have left and gone into private practice here have more or less committed themselves to a strong opinion that there is a good deal of bribery amongst the subor- dinates of the Surveyor General's Department?

A.—I have heard it said by the people, but not by them.

Q.-Well, I could name I think these people who I know have been in the Survey Department, and have left it, and then have had a very strong opinion on that subject. Have you begun to form any such opinion?

A.-No.

Q.-You have not?

A.-No.

Q.-Of your own knowledge do you know anything of the giving of bribes, or any persons being reported to receive bribes in the department?

A.-No.

( 29 )

Q.-Has it occurred to you that any of the men live above their means—any of

the Clerks of Works or Overseers?

A.-No; I have not heard anything of that.

Q.-Were you engaged in engineering work in England before you came here?

A. Yes.

Q.-I suppose a good deal of that sort of thing goes on in England-bribery on the part of Clerks of Works and so on?

A.-Yes; we have had to discharge men there for it.

-But you have not come across anything of the sort here?

A.-No.

Q.-Have you ever come across any neglects or scamping or works that would have led you to suppose that sort of thing is going on?

A.-I am not in charge of work.

Q. What are you chiefly engaged in then?

A.-Surveying and preparing plans. I have nothing to do with works.

Q-But of course you could take charge of works?

A. Yes. I had charge of the finishing of the Break-water; that is the only thing.

Q.-What is your opinion of the style of Government work in this Colony, and

it is carried out?

the way

A.-I think it is done well.

Q.-Have you formed any idea as to the prices?

A.-I have not heard the prices.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Your duties then are rather office duties than out-door

duties?

A.-Preparing plans and surveying.

Q.-Have

under contract?

you anything to do with the measuring of work done by Chinese not

A. Yes, in this way, that I prepare the plans and make an estimate.

Q.-You only make the estimate for the work before it is taken in hand, and after

it has been completed, you have nothing to do with the measurements?

A.—I have had nothing so far, if Mr. PRICE orders me, I would have.

Q.-Does

-Does the result of the work when it is measured ever come before you in com- parison with the estimate of what it ought to be?

A.-No.

( 30 )

Q.-To whom do you give your certificate?

A.-To Mr. PRICE.

-Your estimate both as to the measurement and cost? ·

A.-As to cost I don't make an estimate, only as to quantity.

Q.-And you have nothing whatever to do with the result when it is completed?

A.-No.

Q.-Then you are in no way brought into connection with the Chinese Contractors on the carrying out of public works?

A.-Not with the tenders, but in the carrying out as regards the setting out. For instance, in the new Praya-wall I would have to set out the line.

Q:-That would be within your duties when the contract was made?

A. Yes.

Q.-You would have no knowledge whether it was too dearly paid for or not?

A.-No.

Q.-Yours is purely scientific work?

A. Yes.

Q. And you have nothing to do with making out bills?

A.-No.

Q.-And so you know nothing of them?

A.-Except as regards stumps required for marking out and surveying.

-But nothing to do with public works?

A.-No.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.--Have you ever heard any charges made against the depart-

ment?

A.-No.

Q.-Have you ever heard it said by any one that there was corruption?

A.--I have heard things on these articles.

Q.-Have you heard anything in the way of proof that there was something in it?

A.-No.

Q.-Have you ever heard any one's name mentioned, either as the source of the rumour or as a person who receives bribes?

A.-All I have heard is through the newspaper articles and comments on them.

"

( 31 )

Q.-I mean such a thing as this: "Mr. PRICE is reported to be a determined opponent of the jobbery that is said to prevail so extensively amongst the subordinate members" Some one might say: There is no doubt a good deal in that ?

A. I have always heard it the other way, that people were surprised it was possible.

-So that you really could not mention the name of any person who could be called to account for such a thing?

A.-No.

-Be called upon to justify it?

A.-No.

Mr. MCCALLUM is called,-

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-You are Sanitary Inspector I believe?

A. Yes.

Q.-How long have you been in the Public Works Department?

A.-Since April last.

Q-Are you brought at all intimately into connection with the working of the department?

A.-No.

suppose you know nothing about contracts, except for the scavenging and so forth, nothing about bills, or what is paid, or estimates, do you?

A:-Nothing whatever outside the Sanitary department.

Q.-Then, I think our inquiry so far as you are concerned, will narrow itself to this: Being in the department for nine months, an interested person, and thrown into connection with the people in the department, you must have heard a good deal about the reports going about, and the newspaper articles that have appeared?

A. Yes, I have heard what any one would ordinarily hear running about the town.

Q.-Yes, exactly. Well, now, suppose you were asked, quite apart from this commission, suppose you were in England and were asked your opinion as to the merits of this matter, what would you say? ?

A.—I don't know that I clearly understand what matter you mean.

Q: I mean the allegations made that persons in the Survey Department are open to bribes and take bribes. As the Hongkong Telegraph puts it, the jobbery which is said to prevail so extensively.

A.-Well, I would say the jobbery would either have to be proved or disproved.

( 32 )

Q.-Yes; but you have formed some opinion of your own as to whether it exists or is likely to exist?

A.-I doubt it very much.

Q.-You doubt whether it exists?

A. Yes.

Q.-You have seen that petition for an inquiry. Can you give us any idea as to the direction in which the inquiry should be pushed, either as to the people who put these reports about, or the people against whom they are directed? Who are the particular persons against whom they are directed?

A.-I really don't know, but I have always understood it was the Overseers of Works.

Q.-Where do these reports originate?

A.-I have no idea.

I

Q. Do you know, of your own knowledge, of any Overseer of Works who lives above his income, or whose conduct is in any way suspicious ?

A.-None whatever.

Q.-Have you heard any one making statements about the Survey Department?

A.-I have heard remarks passed in reference to its general remarks.

Q.-Disparaging remarks?

A. Disparaging remarks.

Q.-Can

-Can you tell us who made these remarks?

-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Anything you say is in strict confidence if

to be so?

you

wish it

A.-These conversations took place in private, and I do not feel justified in repeat- ing what took place in private.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.--You appeal to the Government for an inquiry on the one hand, and on the other hand the Governor issues instructions to all his Officers to give what information they possess in the matter. Now, I think you will agree that a certain body of Officers having asked for an inquiry they should be willing to give what informa- tion they can?

A.-As to matters of fact, I would have no hesitation in giving any information could, but private conversation!

Q.-But you see it is from private conversation all these damaging rumours spring. Excluding the whole class of people who may be taken perhaps only to repeat what they hear, could you name any one who had or seemed to have any solid ground for making these remarks?

را

( 33 )

A.-I have never heard any one say that of their own knowledge, they knew such things existed. The general terms of the remarks has been that so and so was said to

be the case.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-What is the precise character of the allegation? With- out giving any names, could you give us any specific allegation that is made, so that we could discover it? We are fighting with shadows at present. Without mentioning any names, what is the precise allegation?

A.-That certain people receive cumshaws from Contractors.

Q.-And for what do they receive them--bad work or extension of time?

A.-Really I never thought of inquiring.

Q.-You know of no specific allegation?

A. No.

Q.-Simply the general one, that bribes are taken?

A.-Yes, taken and given.

Q.-And does that touch other than the inferior Officers of the department, or the superior ones?

A.-I have never heard any one say anything about the superior Officers.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Could you give us one single name of any person who has made these remarks?

A.-No; I don't feel justified in mentioning the names of people who may have passed these remarks in my presence.

Q.-I don't think you ought to have any objection. A witness at our last meeting made the same remark, and when pressed for his authority he named a person perfectly well known to us as a source from whom many of these rumours have come. I think you might give us the name of one person whom you look upon as your chief source of information in the matter.

A.-No, I would not give any name, because you hear a little from one and a little from another. The conversation I may have heard may not have been addressed to me. I may simply have heard it passing between others.

-Quite so, but when people make remarks of that kind they take the responsi- bility of them. If I say so and so does something, I must not object if afterwards that remark is repeated and I am asked to say why I said so. Really I think we may reasonably ask for one name.

A.-I don't know that I could give the name of one person specially who made these remarks more than another. I could not even name a day, or a week, or a month that I heard them.

:

tion.

( 34 )

Q.-There must be some person whom you connect more or less with that informa-

A.-No.

Q.-Well then it really reduces itself to this: the Officers of the Survey Depart- ment have asked the Government to inquire into a certain matter and when the very unpleasant business of inquiring has been commenced the Officers will not give the slightest assistance towards what they require.

A.—Well, as far as I am personally concerned I signed the petition because I thought it was not only necessary for the department but for the whole of the service.

Q.—But in these interests you will not give us the least ray of information that will enable us to trace these rumours. If we can once get at the people who put these statements about we can go to them and say "Where do you get your information," but I think every Officer of the Survey Department so far has said the same thing: "Yes," lots of people say it, I know who they are, or to some extent know who they are, but I won't tell you.

No answer.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-What are your principal duties ?

A.—I carry out the Sanitary Laws under the direction of the Sanitary Board.

Q.—And you are not brought at all into connection with what I may call the Public Works Department?

A.-No; the department I am connected with is a sub-department of the Survey Department.

Q.-And you have no opportunity of knowing whether opportunities are offered for this corruption?

A.-No.

Q.-It would not come within the scope of your duties to have any information?

A.-No.

Q.-With regard to your own department, do you suppose it possible there might be any corruption?

A.-Well, before I took charge, I have heard such things took place, and I have paid personal attention to the subject, and I am sure not one of the Officers takes bribes.

Q.-But will you explain in what way corruption could step in?

A.-In conniving at breaches of the sanitary laws..

Q.-On the part of the Inspectors.

A. Yes.

( 35 )

35)

Q.--Will

you give me the names of the Inspectors?

A.-Chief Inspector GERMAIN, Inspector CLERIHEW, Inspector GRIMBLE, Inspector RAY. Then there are the Chinese. District Watchmen and the Watchman at the Peak.

Q.-I suppose the duty of these Inspectors is to report breaches of the sanitary regulations?

A. They report all breaches of sanitary regulations coming before them to me, and if I think it a case where a summons ought to be taken out a summons is taken out

and the case comes before the Magistrate.

-Then what security have you there is no corruption? because it appears to me there is as much opportunity in your department, if you will allow me to say so, as in the Public Works Department.

-I quite recognise that fact, but we have this check: there are the Chinese watch- men; it is not at all likely Europeans would combine with the Inspectors in any way, and with regard to the Chinese Community we have now the Chinese watchmen from whom we would get information.

Q.-Do think you

you

would get information from Chinese watchmen? I think it improbable. You mean that a Chinese watchman is a man in charge of Chinese houses?

A.-No; but he is intimately connected with the Chinese and knows all about them, and if anything of that kind were done he would mention it.

ment.

Q.-What pay does he get?

A.-The District Watchmen are paid partly from the Registrar General's Depart-

Q.-And they make their reports to these Inspectors?

A.-No, direct to me.

Q.-And who supervises them?

A. They are under the orders of the Inspectors.

Q. And you have no reason to believe that any of your Officers receive bribes?

A.-No.

-You have never heard a suspicion expressed against your department?

A.-Not against the present Officers.

Q.-Then these conversations you have heard about the Survey Department were not directed against your own branch?

A.-Against the present Officers I have never heard anything. One or two who have gone away, I certainly have heard of.

( 36 )

#

SO.

-Have not these men the same opportunity?

I.

A.-It does not necessarily follow a man takes bribes, because his predecessor did

Q.-No; but what reason have you for thinking that one did and not the other? What reason have you for suspecting that these men received bribes?

A.-These men had left the department before I joined it.

Q. And as soon as they have gone you hear the rumours? Q.-And

A.-No; I heard it before.

Q.-Can tell us who told you?

you

A.-I really forget. It was when Mr. CHADWICK was here, and I took some

interest in sanitary matters.

Q.-And did you adopt any measures to place any check on the present staff?

A.I believe my appointment was partly for the purpose of preventing it.

Q.-And do you yourself inspect and form a check?

A.-In all serious cases I inspect personally.

Q.-But do you go round and see that cases that are serious are properly reported?

A.-I go all over the town.

Q.-

Q. -You know no way in which the duties of these men could be interfered with by a process of fee giving?

A.-Oh, it is possible, but I don't think it is done.

Q.

-Hon. A. LISTER.-Inspector ADAMS had gone before you

took charge.

A.-He was suspended from duty two days after I took charge.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-You say you have heard conversations in which it has been said that there is corruption in the department?

A.—I don't know about corruption-I suppose you call it corruption.

Q. -I mean jobbery amongst the Overseers, receiving bribes?

A.-Or cumshaws, as they are termed.

Q. -You have heard conversations of that kind?

A.-Frequently.

Q.-And you have heard individuals speaking, and have heard them mention the names of Officers?

A.-No; I have heard it stated that some years ago-I don't know how long-some of the subordinate Officers of the department used to toss up for their salaries at the end

of the month. I don't know whether it is correct.

( 37 )

Q.-Exactly, could you mention the name of the person who said that?

A.-No. I would rather not. I could.

-You know the name of the person who said that, but you have scruples about mentioning it?

-A. Yes. I would rather not mention it.

Q.-But you do know it?

A. Yes.

Q-Do you know any other names you have scruples about mentioning?

A. With regard to that particular matter do you mean?

Q.—Yes.

A.-No, I don't think I have heard more than two or three people make that

remark.

Q.-Then there were two or three people?

A-It was in the nature of a private conversation, and I don't think it is right.

Q. Well have you ever heard about anything else—that kind of thing?

A. Well, remarks have been made that certain Officers have more money than they might be expected to get from their salaries.

Q. With regard to particular men?

· A.-No, generally.

Q.-Well, you have heard that remark made by men.

Can you mention their

names?

A.-For the same reason I don't feel justified in doing so.

Q.-Have you heard any other remark of that character?

A.-No, I don't think I have, except the general thing that these men receive cumshaws.

Q.-That you have heard from many individuals, and you could mention names but will not.

A. The person who made the remark about tossing up for salaries I could men- tion the name of, but I don't feel justified.

Q.-You have also heard the remark that Overseers receive bribes?

A. Yes, and that certain of them had amassed more money than they might be expected to.

Q.-Well, the difficulty we are in is this: Some seem to have signed the Memorial without understanding what they were doing, but you did; you signed it for the good of the department?

A.-For the good of the department and the service."

( 38 )

Q.-I believe the article you chiefly referred to was this: "Mr. PRICE is reported to be a determined opponent of the corruption which is said to prevail so largely."

*

A. Inasmuch as that was the origin of the whole thing, yes; but I meant the whole of the statements he (Mr. FRASER-SMITH) had been making in his paper for

months past.

Q.-Precisely. You say these are serious things to say about the department, and in the public interest you think there should be an inquiry?

A. Yes.

Q. What sort of an inquiry did you contemplate? In what direction should it be

made?

A.-Well, that if a Commission was appointed to inquire into it any of the public who had the public interest at heart would come forward and give whatever information they had.

your

Q.-Well, you are one of the public. Here you are, with information in possession. We ask you confidentially to give it. Suppose every one answers in the same way, where are we?

A.-But you ask me to give names of individuals I have heard making remarks, I think that is hardly.-

A.-But all libels and slanders are originated by individuals. As man does not go and stand on a monument to give vent to a slander. He circulates it quietly, and that is how it gets currency.

A.-But after this inquiry people cannot make the same assertions again, because they have the opportunity of coming forward to prove them.

Q.-But we want to know who they are, so that we can challenge them.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-People will say they don't like to come forward, just as you do, and you are of the department which is called in question.

A.-But I am not one who says these things.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-But are you not a witness to the fact that jobbery is said to

exist?

A. Yes, that it is said to exist.

Q.-And that is perfectly true?

A. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN.-Well, it is said to exist, and we want to trace it.

Hon. A. LISTER.-You cannot suppose there is in the length and breadth of Hongkong any one who is in a position to say "I saw so and so receiving bribes" unless it is perhaps some house boy or coolie or other native who has taken a cover,

1

and

( 39 )

very probably he did not know what he was taking. I doubt very much if there is anyone except the parties concerned who can say. "I know such a man gave so and so a bribe." Then what public are we to fall back on?

out who said this, and then we might trace it to its source.

over the outside public that we have over you.

We can simply try to find We have not even the hold

The CHAIRMAN.--You see your position is really this: as one of the signatories to that Memorial you come to the Government and complain. You say, "People are saying things about me. People are saying I am guilty of corruption," that, is, as one of the department, "I demand an inquiry into these charges," whereupon the Governor issues a Commission of Inquiry. They call upon you, and you say, "People do say I am guilty of corruption. I know the names. If you had the names you might challenge them and their means of knowing, but I won't give you the names."

*

`A.—I should first like to communicate with these people. And with their per- mission I have no objection.

The CHAIRMAN.-That is fair and reasonable.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-At all events you shut their mouths for the future.

Hon. A. LISTER.—You might give them their choice, whether to come and say it themselves or for you to repeat it.

The CHAIRMAN.—Anything you like, only we want to get at the source of these

assertions.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Entirely confidential, and of it be merely to communicate their suspicious, it won't go any further than the commission.

A. Then with their permission I have no objection.

The CHAIRMAN.-Then you might put it to them that there is the difficulty.

Hon. A. LISTER.-Every one seems to think some one will come forward and say something, that is, every one expects some one to do what he will not do himself.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Have you ever had occasion any time in the course of your service to call to account any of your Officers for having failed to report that which it was perfectly obvious they ought to report?

A.-No wilful neglect.

Q.-Nor the Chinese?

A.-The Chinese District Watchmen I am not quite so clear about.

Mr. E. Rose is examined,-

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-What are you?

A.-Overseer of Water-works.

( 40 )

-How long have you been connected with the Public Works Department?

A. This time it will be four years in March.

Q.-Altogether? I think I remember seeing you in the Public Works Department

as much as 18 years ago.

A.--In 1865 I joined first.

Q.—And since that you have been out of the department? How many times?

A.-Only once, from 1872 to 1880.

-Then you were eight years out of it?

A. Yes.

.—And during that time you were trying to better yourself? `

A.-I was in private business.

Q.-During that time you kept the Oriental Hotel?

:

A. About six years.

Q.—And the other two years?

A.-I was in business with a man of the name of HANDLEY, plumber and

gas

fitter.

.--Then altogether you have had about ten years' service in the Survey Depart-

ment?

A. Yes.

Q.-Have you been connected with the Water-works all the time?

A. The whole of the time.

Q.-I think, if I remember rightly when I first saw you, you were laying the covering stones on a drain just by what is called Parsee Point?

A.-No, I never had any connection with any drainage, roads, or streets, except making good where water mains might have run through.

Q.-Well, there was a stop-cock put down there for the Sailor's Home?

A. Then that would be my business. Everything in connection with the Water-

works.

--You gave evidence, I think, in the late trial, did you not?

A.—Yes; in fact I disputed the accusation that was laid against me. give any other evidence.

I did not

Q.—I suppose it would not be too much to say, I think no one in the Colony believed your statement at that time. I suppose you are aware of that?

A.-I really never heard of it, Sir.

:

( 41 )

Q.-Well, I think I may say without fear of making any mistake, that the jury did not believe it.

A.-Well, if they did not it would not be my fault.

-Now be candid, Mr. ROSE. There must have been something at the bottom of that. No one would have pitched on you of all men and said you gave this informa- tion to the Telegraph Office. They might just as well have pitched on me, or any one else. There must have been something. Will you tell us what it was?

A.-I will give my candid opinion that I think will convince you.

Q.-No, I want facts.

A.-During the time I was in the hotel both FRASER-SMITH and his brother lived with us in the hotel. The younger brother owes money for chits to this day. Board and lodging I never charged him for during three months' stay. We have kept up the acquaintance. Young SMITH and his wife have come to my house. We live in the same compound at Peddar's Hill and he has very often come over.

I have always spoken to him as a friend, and when it came to a point no doubt he packed the saddle on my shoulders, thinking that as people had seen us together and knew we were friends every one would believe it. He accused me of going to his office to take him to the Contractors about the accounts. I never did so.

-But there must have been something-some conversation?

(C

A.-Well you would naturally fancy so, but it is not so.

He accused me of other things which I suppose you will come to. I will

I will prove young SMITH came up the first day of the trial with the China Mail, knocked at the door, and said. Hallo, NED, how do you do?" I had a friend with me. Although I knew what he had said I never let on or said a word. I asked him to sit down. He brought my attention to the China Mail and said he was going to bring an action for libel, because he said he had not said a word of what was stated in the China Mail except a small paragraph he pointed out. I said I did not know anything about it. I told him a falsehood there.

Q.-Well, but you must have had some conversation with one of them on this subject during all this time you have been intimate; they staying at your house- conversation about the Survey Department.

A.-No, except casual words; no more than I would say to any one else; but I never went to his office and took him to Contractors, and so on.

Q. Did he ever ask you that question he said he did, about the Tai-tam Water-works?

A.-No, never spoke about it.

Q.-Well, you have been connected with the Survey Department for the last 18 years. I believe you will admit there was a time when some men connected with the Survey Department made a good deal of money. ·

A.-Not that I know of.

( 42 )

Q.-Do you remember LAWRENCE?

A.

-Inspector LAWRENCE?

Q.-Yes. I remember him well, you remember he got two years' hard labour.

A. He was Inspector of Buildings.

Q.-I don't care what he was Inspector of so long as he was connected with the department. He admitted before he got out of gaol that he took $2,000 in one single

case.

A.-I don't know the amounts, but I know he was in gaol.

Q.-Well, have you not known-let us say it was years ago that there were men in the Survey Department who took bribes.

A.-No.

Q.-Is it a fact, as I have just been told, that certain Overseers used to toss up

for their salaries at the end of the month?

A.-No; it is the first time I have ever heard it in my life. Jokes might have passed, such as "I will toss you up for my salary," but it was never meant.

-Now I think you may set your mind at rest on one point. I don't think any one suspects you of taking bribes, but when you left the department in 1872 had you any idea you would ever go

back to it?

A.-No, I never thought of going back again.

Q.-Well, now, all the other persons who have left the department and gone into private business, I think I may say without exception, seem to have a bad opinion of the Overseers and Clerks of Works. During the time you were keeping the Oriental Hotel did you have that same opinion, that the Overseers and Clerks of Works were, taking them altogether, a bad lot, open to bribes and so forth?

A.-No.

Q.-You did not hold that opinion?

A.-Certainly not.

Q. How is it then every one else who has left the Survey Department seems to hold it?

A.-I don't know, Sir.

Q.-Have you known yourself any case of any one taking bribes?

A.-No.

Q.-Any suspicion of it?

A.-No.

Q.-And you know, of course, that it is generally talked about in the town since this case?

A.-I never heard anything more.

1

( 43 )

Q.-No? Never heard any one speaking of it?

A.—I have never heard any one say it to my face, about a squeeze, except the statement in the paper.

Q.-Well, you were very intimate with both the SMITHS?

A. Yes.

Q.-Where did they get their information?

A.-I don't know, I understood they accused somebody in the Court. They accused me of receiving $3.

Q.

-About what matter?

A.-They did not say what, because the Chief Justice said he held me quite innocent because I had nothing to do with the case, and Mr. FRASER-SMITH did not prove anything of the kind.

Q.-But you have been so intimate with them, going in and out of their house, you must have some idea where they get this information, and what information it is Mr. SMITH is boasting about in his paper now and saying he is going to make use of?

for

A.-No, Sir, I do not. My business is out of doors all day, except coming home my meals. I never saw any one giving him information since. I think I am the special one accused in Court. I think I am only justified in trying to protect myself and shew you, gentlemen, as Commissioners, I am not guilty of the squeezing. I think

I

may bring it home. (Produces papers).

Hon. A. LISTER.-We are not going into your character at all.

A.-I must protect myself.

Q-But wait till you are attacked. I don't think any one suspects you of receiving bribes. We want to get at these charges against the department.

L

A.-Well, I have never heard of any squeezing myself.

Q-What papers are those you have there?

A. Simply recommendations, and also about a bill I was accused of receiving $3 in connection with.

Q-But I would rather have an ounce of where Mr. FRASER-SMITH got his information from, than a pound of that.

A.-But this is what was stated in Court, that he accused me of.

Q.-Yes, but I don't think we will go into that.

A.-I might help you along as to the source. MILLAR, the man he said gave me $3-this was work I had not anything to do with.

-Do you give MILLAR work?

( 44 )

A.-No; he does not do it well, does not look after it, and he charges too high. This being a contract job he got it, and he did inside work to a house. I have nothing to do with that, my work is outside, and if pipes are broken inside a building, I order the people to repair them. This gentleman asked me simply to take money to Mr. MILLAR if I passed by his place. I said I would, and I took $13, and MILLAR accused me of taking $3, at least SMITH did.

Q.--Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You say you never give MILLAR work?

A. Yes.

Q.-Could you give him work if

you liked.

A. Yes, if he looked after it and did it well, I could.

Q.-Then you give it to a Chinese?

A. Yes.

Q.-Who is he?

A.-A man who is the Government Contractor and who was introduced to me as

such when I joined; that is, small jobs.

Q.-How much?

A.-The whole of the expenses during the year are about $5,000.

1

Q.-Then you really distribute patronage to the amount of $5,000 in the year? you give away jobs to that amount?

A.-No; little jobs that amount to $60 or $70 a month for the general repair, but for larger jobs I have to get estimates.

Q.-Then you give away work to the amount of $600 a year say?

A. Yes, about that.

The Commission adjourns.

SEVENTH MEETING.

12th January, 1884.

Present: The Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

A. LISTER.

**

F. B. JOHNSON.

""

Mr. MCCALLUM is recalled,-

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Well, Mr. MCCALLUM, have you got us that information?

A.-No. I have communicated with three different people, and the whole of them have refused to allow me to mention their names.

( 45 )

-Don't you think it is a thing in which they can hardly exercise any authority?

A.-They say they only said what was the common talk of the place, and they don't want their names mixed up with it.

Hon. A. LISTER.-Well, I must say this: some years ago, when I was less cautious than I perhaps am now, when I may have expressed myself too strongly about any one, I did not meet with this wonderful reticence. I should have had somebody within 24 hours come after me and say, "did you say so and so?" They have committed themselves to this thing, and I don't think they have any right to shut it

up in this way. I know this, if I were to say to-night, in any company, that so and so was giving or taking bribes, I don't think to-morrow would be over before I should have some one asking me if I said so and what I meant by it.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Now, we have got so far, that you tell us there are three people in the Colony who have made these charges or repeated them, and when challenged they absolutely decline to come forward, and we may take it for granted they have nothing to say; but in talking to them again, did they lead you to believe they thought there was anything in the charges, or they were merely repeating irresponsible gossip" hair-brained chatter of irresponsible frivolity"—are these the class of men?

A.—I don't think they would like to be thought so.

Q.-But did they give you the impression they knew any facts, or were merely repeating what they had heard?

A.-They were merely repeating, though they seemed to believe it to some extent.

Q.-Do they believe it now?

A. They gave me that impression.

Q.-They gave you that impression, and yet they refused to come forward?

A. Yes.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Then I think you reduce us to this position: we shall have to report to the Governor that one of his Officers is in possession of information and absolutely declines to give it. (Reads Commission)" and I hereby charge all Officers in the public service to assist them therein." It will be our duty to inform the Governor that one person at least in the public service simply says. "I could give you informa- tion, but I won't."

A.—I have given all the information I myself possess, except that I don't care to give the names of certain people who have told me certain things, and I don't see that I could give them without their permission.

Q.-But I put it that no man having made such a statement, unless he has first said "I give it you on condition that you won't repeat it," has a right to expect such secrecy. I don't suppose you would have had any hesitation in repeating what these people said to half a dozen other people.

A.-No, not the slightest.

1

( 46 )

Q.--Therefore I say

these statements were not made to you in any confidence, cer- tainly if a man bargains for confidence you would be right to keep it, but if he tells you a thing over the dinner table or over the fire, I don't see he has any right to expect you are not going to make use of it in every possible way. Now let me put you a very common case. Suppose something you say had been said about a man's character. "Did you say so and so?" "Yes, I did."

"Who told you?" "Well, I was told so

"

others, but I won't give you the names. Can you imagine a man putting himself in that position, a man who has passed on gossip? "Yes, I have heard it from certain people, but I won't say who they are." I think such a man would find himself in a very uncomfortable position.

A.--Well, I certainly won't give their names without their permission, and I went to-day expressly to see them myself, and they declined to give me their permission.

Hon. A. LISTER.-Very well, we have nothing more to say.

+

ment?

Mr. E. ROSE is recalled,-

2.-The CHAIRMAN.-How long have you been in the Surveyor General's Depart-

A.-I joined in 1865.

-So you have been nearly twenty years?

A.-In the Colony. When I first joined the service, I joined the Gaol Department.

Q. And the Surveyor General's?

A.-In 1865.

Q.--And have you been in it ever since?

A.-No; I have been out of it eight years.

Q.-And how long have you recently been in it?

A.-Four years next March.

Q. How long have you known Mr. FRASER-SMITH?

A.-Ever since he came to this Colony. When he arrived from England he stop-

ped in the Oriental Hotel.

Q.-How many years ago is that?.

A.-I think it was in 1876.

-Then you are a very intimate friend of Mr. FRASER-SMITH?

A.-No, not very intimate, except meeting him every day while in the Hotel, but since then I have been more intimate with the younger brother.

}

!

( 47 )

Q.-Well, you have been more intimate with the younger brother, and pretty inti- mate with the elder?

A. Yes.

-You remember the Telegraph being started?

A. Yes, in D'Aguilar Street.

Q.-Well

-Well then you remember it being established up in your neighbourhood?

A.-Yes.

Q. When did you first begin communication with him about the Public Works Department?

(C

A.-I have had no communication.

-You don't mean to say you have never spoken to him about it?

A.-Yes.

Q. Do you really mean to say that?

A.—Oh, I am telling you the truth, except that we might speak in an off, hand way, as I would to any other stranger. I remember speaking to him once, I said, Why do you always keep writing in your paper so strongly against Mr. PRICE?" He said he had his own reasons for it. I said, "Oh you know best." I asked him, where he got his information from, and he said it was not my business. I simply asked. I would give no information.

Q.-Where was this?

A.--Outside, not in his place at all.

-Where do you think he got his information?

A.-Well, really I don't know whether I am right to say it.

Q.-Oh, yes.

A.-Well, the parties I accused him of were Mr. DANBY and Mr. LEIGH, because I knew the information could only come from people acquainted with the Public Works.

Q-And they had been in the Public Works Department?

A. Yes. He denied it, and I said it was none of my business, but I naturally felt annoyed at the writing.

Q.-Do

you mean to say you thought he had got hold of the real truth?

A.-No, certainly not.

-Because he evidently knew something about the department?

A.-I am sure he did not know the real truth, because he wrote about things that I know more about than any one else except my chief, and that is the Water-works, and that was what I felt annoyed about. He wrote about more water as not necessary, and I knew people in Hongkong did not get a quarter of their proper supply.

( 48 )

Q. -Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-What did he write about?

A. He said it was simply throwing money away on the Tai-tam Water-works, that it was not required, that they had enough.

Q.--The CHAIRMAN.—And you knew they had not enough?

A.—I knew they had not, because I had to look after it.

Q.-You say you thought he got information from some one who knew about the work of the department, and you thought Mr. DANBY or Mr. LEIGH might have given it. Now what made you think he got information from some one who knew?

A.-I naturally thought he could not know anything about it himself, and I formed the idea, which I told him to his face, "You must have got the information from some one who knows," and he said not.

-How did he come to say that he would not get you into the trial?

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-If you had not said anything, how could he have said he would not bring you into the trial?

A.-As I said in court, I was going home with a friend. Mr. SMITH was standing at the door and he said, "You fellows need not be afraid."

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Who was your friend?

A.-MCLEOD. I never said a word to him at all.

Q.-Was that the beginning and end of the conversation?

A. Yes. I never saw him at all. I passed into my house. I was not nearer

than 20 feet.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Did MCLEOD hear what was said?

A.-Well, I don't know, because he was a little in front. Straight ahead is Mr. SMITH'S place, and I cut off to the right, because I live at the corner housė.

Q.—The CHAIRMAN.-But you must have had some conversation before?

A.-No, we had not.

Q.-Why should he

say that to you, if you had had no conversation? Why should he suppose that you would think he was going to bring you into court?

A.-Well, whoever else spoke to him, I never had done so, and this was the only occasion he spoke to me, I said in court, when he spoke about my going to him, “No, I did not. You hollaed to me across the yard as I was going to my house."

Q.-Did

you not get one of these Contractors for him? Did you ever take either.” of them to a Contractor?

A.-No, never.

1

( 49 )

-Who was that Mr. MILLAR, that was spoke of?

.A.-A plumber and copper smith in Queen's Road East.

Q.-You say you might have joked sometimes about tossing for a month's pay. What was the joke?

A.-I was not sure I did say it, but I might have done so. I have heard it said "Come on, I will toss you for your month's pay against mine," but such a thing never took place, I could not afford to lose mine.

Q. Why did you say it?

A.-You may pass a thing in joke that is never done.

Q.-Do you know any of these Contractors?

A.I have to do with very few.

The CHAIRMAN reads the names of the Contractors, and the witness mentions those

whom he knows.

Q.—You say you have never had any conversation with FRASER-SMITH about the Public Works Department?

A.-No, sir.

Q.-But you have had some conversation, as you say now, and you told him where he got his information?

A.-What he wrote about my chief.

-Don't you call that conversation?

A.-Not about the department.

Q.-You never informed Mr. PRICE, I suppose, it was evident some one was giving information?

A.-No, I did not.

-After the trial, you say, he came up to see you, the same evening, after had given this evidence?

you

A.-No, not after I had given the evidence, but the first day of the trial, in the evening, he came up to my house.

-What did he say to you?

A. He bid me good evening, and I asked him to sit down. He brought a copy of the China Mail with him and said all that was published there was false, and he was going to take legal proceedings. He said all that was true was a small paragraph, I did not look at it at all.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Why not?

A.-Well, I did not. There was no reason. In fact I did not care about his coming at all, and if it had not been that I had a friend there I should have asked him to go downstairs or put him down.

( 50 )

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.—Why?

A.-Well, after what he had said.

Q. -What had he accused you of?

A.--Taking $3 from MILLAR, and taking a gold watch and chain.

Q.-Did you tax him with this and say anything about it?

A.—No, I did not say anything at all about it. I did not let him know I knew any- thing about the proceedings in court.

Q.--Why not?

A.--I don't know. It never struck me.

Q. And he accused you of receiving bribes?

A. Yes, but I had to go up the next day, and I thought it was time enough to say what I had to say then. I did not want to have a row in my own house.

Q.--Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.--Was the friend who was with you any one in the Public Works Department?

A.--You won't know him; he is a stranger.

Q.--The CHAIRMAN.--Who was he?

A.--Well, really, I don't think.-If you require to have parties on oath, I will bring him

up to prove that he was there and came into the house. I don't think I am justified in telling.

Q.-But you are bound to tell us. Who was the man? You are to give us all

the information we want.

ment.

A.-Well, I said just now he was no one belonging to the Public Works Depart-

Q.

Who was it?

A.-It was Mr. MCLEOD.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.--Then he was in the Public Works Department?

A. Yes.

Q. -The CHAIRMAN.--All this time you have been in the Public Works Depart- ment have you ever heard any one say any Overseer or other Officer of the department received cumshaws, or money, or bribes?

A.-No; I have not.

Q.-You have never heard it during the 20 years you have been here?

A.-No, except the writing in the paper since this libel case.

1

( 51 )

Q.--Except that, you have never heard anything?

A.- No.

Q.--Did

you ever hear a Contractor complain that he had not been properly paid, or that he had to give squeezes?

A.--No, not to me.

Q.-But to any one?

A.—I have never heard any complaints from any one, but I know during Mr. PRICE's absence there was a Commission sitting about the non-payment, but I was not up before it.

Q.-Did you ever hear any one say he had heard there was squeezing in the Public Works Department?

A.--No.

Q.--You never heard a suggestion in all these 20 years that there was anything wrong?

A.--No.

.--Who do you think we had better enquire of? You have asked for an inquiry, what do you expect us to inquire into?

way.

A.--You can call any one you like to find out if I have committed myself in any

Q.-You say here, "the charges of corruption levelled at our heads," now what are these charges?

A. Simply the charges made against the department, at the time of the trial in the Supreme Court.

Q.-But all the libel there is, "Mr. PRICE is reported to be a determined opponent of the corruption said to prevail amongst the subordinate members?"

A. That is the reason we have come forward.

-You have asked for an inquiry?

A. Yes.

Q.-What do you mean by an inquiry?

A. You can call any one you like to prove whether I have squeezed or taken anything wrongfully.

Q.-Any one we like?

A. Yes.

Q.-But can you tell us whom to call?

A.--No.

Q.--But you say.

( 52 )

52)

"Is said to prevail." Now who says these things?

A.-That was the charge in the paper.

-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.--All you based your signature to that paper on, was that one sentence in the paper?

A. Yes.

Q.-You never heard anything more about the department being accused of jobbery or anything else?

A.-No.

Q.-And

you never had reason to suppose opportunities were given for bribery? It never occurred to you such a thing was possible?

A.-No; I never heard about it. I have never done so. I am quite willing to abide by an investigation and face my accusers.

-The CHAIRMAN.--You have known both the SMITHS for years, and pretty inti- mately; can you explain what Mr. FRASER-SMITH's motive was in calling you as a witness?

A.-No, I really don't know, I have no idea, except what I said yesterday, that every one had seen us together, and being friends, people would naturally believe I was

person who had given information.

the

Q.-To put the public on a false scent?

A. Yes.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-It is an astounding thing he should call

you to prove his case, knowing all the time you never said anything about it. Can you believe a man guilty of such folly?

A.-Well, supposing I had told him I was willing to go as a witness it was not likely I would turn back on him.

you?

Q.-No, but the Chairman asks you the question, what was his motive in calling

A.--I cannot tell, except that he thought he would bring out something. What his idea was I don't know.

Q.--The CHAIRMAN.-You think that having got his information from some other source he thought he could call you and make people believe you were the source?

A.-That is my belief; but who he got his information from I don't know.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You expect us to believe you never had any conver- sation with him, and yet he calls you as a witness as to what you said about the Public Works Department?

A.--The accusation is that I go to the office and give him information, and I I never did.

say

A

1

Q.-Never spoke to him?

( 53 )

A.—Oh, general talk, such as. "How are the Water-works going on? how is this?" and so on.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-He took an interest in the Water-works?

A.-But he got no information from me, especially about Tai-tam, because I was not on the work.

Q.-But you might be interested in it?

A.-How could I, if I was not on the work?

Q.—A subject of interest to the public, in the paper?

A.-I was not interested in the paper.

Q. Do you know whom he got his information from?

A.-I do not know. I had my suspicions which I have mentioned.

Q.-But he got papers out of the office apparently?

A.—I do not know. I saw the letter in the paper, but I had no idea such things

were going on.

Q.-What letter?

A.-That letter of Mr. PRICE's which come out at the trial.

Q.-Well, you know of that letter?

A.-No; I did not, never heard of it. We come into the office to write our reports,

but we have nothing to do with correspondence.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.--What year was it you took over the Oriental Hotel?

A.-1874.

Q. What were you, a paid manager, or did you buy the business?

A.

-There were two partners.

Q.--Who was your partner?

A.-Mr. STOCKHAUSSEN.

Q.--How much money did you put into the business?

A.--I put in about $1,500.

-You had then been six years in the Public Works Department?

A. Yes.

Q.-Had you made $1,500 in the six years

A.-No, I was two years in private business before I took the Hotel.

·( 54 )

What private business?

A.-With HANDLEY as a plumber and gas-fitter.

Q. And where did you make the $1,500?

A.-In private business.

Q.--In two years ?

A.-I did not say in two years. Once, for instance, I had $3,000 from the Manila Lottery.

Q.-Well, you lost on the Oriental Hotel I think, did

you not?

A.--Yes.

Q.-And you were bankrupt?

A.--No.

·

-You compounded with your creditors?

A.-I believe everything is paid up; if not it is not my fault, it is my partner's, because he never had a cent in the business.

Q.-But you did not bring any money out with you?

A.-No.

Q.-Your $1,500 was gone?

A. Yes, that was gone.

Q.-It appears in evidence FRASER-SMITH at your house?

A. Yes.

you had been drinking champagne with Mr. STEWART

Q.--How can you afford on $80 a month to drink champagne?

A.-I don't think you would take it as a guarantee that I was drinking champagne every day. I have a lot of sea-faring friends who owe me a lot of money from the

hotel.

Then you say it was a present?

Q.-Then

A. Yes.

Q.-Champagne is very frequently given by the Contractors?

A.-I never had any from them.

Q. Do you know STAINFIELD was an Overseer?

A. Yes.

Q. How long was he there?

A. He took over the works after I left.

I

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( 55 )

Q. What was his special duty?

A.-The same as mine.

Q.-He succeeded you?

A. Yes.

Q.-What was he doing before he went into the Public Works Department?

A.—He was Armourer Sergeant.

Q.-And he came from there into the Public Works Department?

A. Yes.

Q.-Do you know how many years he stayed there?

A.-I relieved him, I think.

Q.-So he was in the department about six years, or eight at the outside?

A. Yes, that is about the time.

Q.-And then he had $4,500 to buy his undertaking business with?

A.—I don't know what he paid for it.

Q. He did buy the business?

A.—I don't know whether he bought it; I know he went into the business.

Q.-Well, I am told he gave $4,500 for that business. He could only have made that money in the department. Is not that so?

A. I don't think so, because I remember a few months afterwards he told me he wished he had never left his position as Armourer Sergeant, where he had good pay.

Q.-A man does not make $4,500 as Armourer Sergeant, does he?

A.-I don't know.

-You know as a fact, I suppose, STAINFIELD is well of?

A.—I don't know, I never go to visit him, I meet him in the street, and shake hands with him, but I never go to his house.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Have you never been there with Mr. McLEOD?

A.—No, sir.

Q.-Nor with Mr. CRAMP?

A.-No.

-Were you not with CRAMP at STAINFIELD's one day when there was a talk about the Public Works Department?

A.-No.

( 56 )

56)

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You are reported to have said you never talked to either of the brothers about delays in payment, and you say now you did talk to them.

A. I may have spoken when the inquiry was going on, but I gave him no in- formation.

paid.

-He says you talked to him over and over again about the Contractors not being

A.-No, sir. I say I may have spoken in a general way when the inquiry was sitting, and every one talking about it, and it was in all the papers.

Q.-Then you did speak to him?

.

A.—No, I did not. If I did, it was spoken about. It was not to give him

any information, because the Contractors I had dealings with, never complained. I would know nothing about it.

The witness is told he

may retire.

WITNESS.-Can I show you any references, or anything with regard to my previous services the whole of the time I have been in the service, because whatever may be turning out of this affair I certainly shall, if the Government does not give me permis- sion to prosecute any one who has brought anything against me, take it on myself to do so. I have five children, and I am not going to leave any stain on them whatever Mr. FRASER-SMITH and his brother's object may have been in dragging me into this disgrace- ful affair.

Mr. BAINS is examined.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-What are you in the Public Works Department?

A.-Overseer.

Q.-How long have you been there?

A.-Seven years and ten months.

Q.-In the department the whole time?

A. Yes.

Q.-Did you come out from England to it?

A.-No; I left the Engineers Department.

Q. How long were you in the Engineers ?

A.-Twenty-one years and six months.

Q.-But here ?

A.-I came out in 1871.

Q.-So

you have been here about 13 years?

A. Yes.

<

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( 57 )

-What is your special duty, what do you look after?

A. Mostly under the Clerk of Works or repairs to buildings, but I have been on

the sea-wall and the roads as well.

Q.—You have heard all this talk going about the Colony about the state of the department. Statements have been made in the newspaper about bribes being taken, and so forth. Can you tell us anything about it?

A.-No; I never heard anything about it.

Q.-One of the Overseers comes in a very straightforward way and says one man offered him a bribe for allowing lime to be kept out of concrete. Can you tell us any- thing like that?

A.-No, I cannot.

Q.-Has no money ever been offered to you?

A.-No.

Q.-I suppose if you were disposed to set about it, it would not be difficult to get money out of the Contractors ?

A. Well, I don't know, if you keep them up to the mark.

Q.-A Clerk of Works or Overseer might make himself very disagreeable to a Contractor?

A.—No, I don't see that he could, as long as he did his work according to his specification.

Q.-Do you have much trouble with Contractors ?

A.-Sometimes.

-How does the trouble arise ?

A.-Sometimes not putting on enough of men, but the chief trouble is with the

cement.

-They have to provide the cement themselves?

A. In the contract they have.

—And they naturally wish to use as little as possible.

A. Yes, and generally the cement is supplied from the department, and they would like to buy it themselves because they can get it cheaper.

Q.--They get cement which is not genuine?

A.-But we won't allow them to use it.

Q.—Well, would a man not pay you for allowing him to use very little cement?

A.—That would be well enough for him, but if the Surveyor General went and made him pull the work done he would lose money in that way.

( 58 )

Q.-Have you ever heard anything about Overseers seeming to be very flush of money?

A.--No.

Q.---Did you sign that petition to the Government for an inquiry?

A.-I did not see the first one. There was another one I signed.

-The CHAIRMAN.-About a public inquiry?

A.--Yes.

Q. Hon. A. LISTER.-You did not sign the first one?

A.-No, I was over at Kowloon and I did not see it.

Q.-Then you have never heard in any shape or way of any Contractor giving money or valuable presents to anybody?

A.--No, except at Christmas time.

Q.-And what presents are given at Christmas?

A. Generally fowls, mutton, fruit, or anything like that.

Q. Well, there is a case I have been asking about. Here is one man in the department who seems after six years to have had $1,500 to go into hotel-keeping with, and another who seems after six or eight years to have had between $4,000 and $5,000 to go into an undertaking business with.

A.-Well, he was in the artillery and made a good deal of money there.

Q.-How?

A. He had the repairing of the Police rifles and made $40 or $50 a month by that; also the Chinese gunboats.

Q.-So you think he made money as Armourer Sergeant?

A.-I don't know, he had a good deal of money.

Q.-Well, but if he made so much money as Armourer Sergeant is it likely he would come to the Public Works Department on $80 a month?

A.-I don't know. The Police work was taken away from him before he joined.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-When a contract is given out for public works, after a tender has been accepted, then I presume an Overseer is appointed to superintend the

work?

A. Yes.

-At what portion of the time does your duty commence?

A. Generally just as the job starts. You get a copy of the specification. The job I am on now--the Police Barracks at Kowloon, was not allowed to start until I went over there to see the foundations put in.

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( 59 )

Q.-And it is your duty to report on badness of material or delay?

A. Yes.

Q. How long have you been doing this kind of work?

A.-Seven years and ten months I have been in the department. When I joined first of all I was under the Clerk of Works; then I was sent out to Pok-fu Lam to fetch the water along the hill side, and then I was under the Clerk of Works again.

Q. In that time in how many instances have you had to complain of negligence on the part of the Contractors, either as to time or bad material? Many instances gene- rally speaking?

A.-No. It is very seldom a contract is finished at the date it ought to be.

Q.-Then as regards bad materials?

A.-I condemn them on the work at once.

Q.-Have you had many instances of condemning bad materials?

A.-Very few.

Q.-You mean to say the Contractors are strictly honest and never try to cheat

the Government?

them.

A.-Well, they will try to cheat both in lime and cement if you don't look after

—But you have had no instances where you have had to report them to your superior officers?

A.-No.

Q.-Such instances as not putting lime in the concrete?

A.-I condemn that at once and make them put more in.

You never detected them not putting it in when you were not there? You

cannot always be there, you know.

A.—I have had it taken up sometimes, but I have always had it done.

Q.-Is it any part of your duty to set out work for the Contractors?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you complain that is not part of your duty?

A.-I don't know. I generally get the foreman there and see the place levelled or squared.

Q. It is your duty to carry it out?

A. Yes.

( 60 )

Q.-But there are some Contractors who do not require your assistance and some

who do?

A. I am always there to see.

Q.-But there is evidence that some Contractors don't require a work to be set out, and others employ the Overseers to do it?

A.-In work I have been on they have had a foreman who is very good.

Q.-You have never had to do what is foreman's work?

A.-No; I have given a hand at levelling or setting up a square.

Q.-Do they pay you for this?

A.-No; I always consider it part of my duty to do it.

Q.-And you have never had an offer of any consideration for doing it?

A.-No.

Q.-Have you to measure work that is not done by contract?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you measure it before or after?

A.--When Governor HENNESSY was here anything above $50 had to be contracted for, so we had to make an estimate first, then tenders were got, and after the work was

done it had to be measured.

Q.-Is that a common part of your, duty?

A. Yes.

-And as a rule do the results agree with your

A.--As a rule they do.

calculations?

Q.-With whom does it rest to decide whether or not the measurements are cor-

rect? With

you only?

A.-Well, there was one instance where Mr. PRICE sent Mr. BowDLER up to Government House to measure, and there was only 2 feet difference between him and me.

Q.-When a Contractor sends in his account for having done a certain amount of work, you measure the work to check his account. Do you ever find any very great difference between yourself and the Contractor?

A.-No.

-And who decides?

A.-Sometimes the Clerk of Works, or he might go with me and measure it.

Q. Do you ever make out bills for Contractors?

A.-No.

A

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Q.-Because we have it in evidence that Overseers are employed to make out bills for Contractors who do the work.

A.-I have never made out any bills.

Q.-And you have never known of any offer being made by Chinese for the work you do for them?

times.

A.-No.

-You are engaged now on the Police Station at the other side?

A. Yes.

Q.-What are your duties? What time do you begin?

A.-In Summer at 5 o'clock, and work up to 7 at night.

Q.-And you are there all the time?

A.-Not always, because I might have other duty.

Q. How many hours are you there?

A.-Ten or eleven hours.

Q.-On that particular work?

A.-Lately I have had the Observatory in hand and have divided my time.

Q.-Does any one overlook you?

A.-Mr. BOWDLER is in charge of the work and comes over and gives a look some-

Q.-How often?

A.-Perhaps twice a month, or some months he might not come at all.

Q.-Well, last month?

A. He was not there at all last month.

-You had no one there, but yourself to look at the work?

A.-No.

Q.-Was Mr. PRICE there?

A.--He does not come there. The work is nearly completed now, and there is not much to see, only laying the floors and putting in the windows.

Q.-And do you mean to say the Assistant Surveyor General has not been there for a month to see the work?

A.-No.

Q.-And the previous month.

A.-I cannot say. On an average I think he comes about three times in two

months.

( 62 )

Q.- -You have never had occasion, you say, to complain of Contractors not having completed their contracts properly?

A.--No.

Q. And never had to report them for being over their time?

A. That is done in the office. When the bill comes in you have just to say how long the time was.

Q.--And when the work is finished do you give any certificate that the work is finished satisfactorily?

A.--Only sign the Contractor's bill.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-You did not sign that Memorial?

A.-No.

Q.-Have you seen that article written about the Public Works Department?

A.--Yes.

Q.--"Jobbery is said to prevail extensively amongst the subordinate members," etc. As far as your experience goes, is it true that it is so said?

A.-I could not say.

Q.--Do you

find people about the place speaking about it?

A.--No, I have never heard any one speaking about it. All the work I have been on, they generally say it is a strong job; the sea-wall on the other side for instance ;

"a typhoon ought not to blow this down."

they say

Q.-But you have never heard any suggestions of bribery-taking squeezes for bad work?

A.--No.

Q.--Never heard any names mentioned?

A.-No.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-I am not quite clear about this measuring work. Mr. BEST said it was his special duty to make estimates of work not done by contract that had to be measured. He said it was his duty first to make the estimate, then it was committed to the Overseer, and after the work was completed then it was the business of the Contractor to send in his statement, and Mr. PRICE compared the Contractor's claim with the estimate. Now you tell us it is your business to make the estimate and measure the work after it is done. Will you give us an explanation of that?

A.-After the previous Clerk of Works Mr. PRESTAGE died, there was twelve months without a Clerk of Works and I did the duty. I went round the Police Stations or wherever there was work to be done, made out the estimate, and gave it to Mr.. BOWDLER. That was while Mr. PRICE was in England, Mr. BoWDLER would then tell

( 63 )

me either to do the work or not to do it. If it was $50 it had to be tendered for; if it

was not $50 he would tell me to put the work in hand. Then when the work was done I would measure it again to see that the quantity was right. Sometimes when you go into an old building there is more than you knew of to be done.

Q.-Does the Contractor send in his bill when it is finished, or do you measure it for him?

A. He measures it and sends in his bill and I measure the work again.

་་

Q.--Do you do it with the Contractor on the spot ?

A.-If there is much of it I would take the Contractor's foreman along with me, and measure it along with him; sometimes I would do it myself.

Q.-Then as a rule you do it with him?

A.-Not as a rule. Sometimes I do and sometimes not.

Q.—With regard to work done in that way, Mr. BowDLER has told us, not that Overseers get paid for it, but that there is an opportunity for them to get paid for it.

Have

you ever had any fee offered you? I don't mean bribery, but a fee for doing the

work?

A.--No.

Q.--Hon. A. LISTER.-Who estimated the cost of that conduit from Pok-fu Lam?

A.-I don't know who estimated for that.

.--The CHAIRMAN.--Do you say work is often after time?

A.-It mostly is.

Q-Mostly it is not finished at the date the contract provides?

A. Yes.

Q.—Hon. A. LISTER.-In summer I suppose it depends a good deal on the weather?

A.-Well, it is very seldom a contract is finished in time.

Q.-Why is that?

A.—I don't know whether it is that they don't give enough time for it or what. Q.-How much are they generally over?

A.-It depends on the job. Sometimes they are five or six months over.

-That would be a big job?

A.-The Police Station should have been finished last October.

Q-Yes, I should like to know about that. What has kept that back?

A.-I don't know; they have been working at it all the time.

Q.-Have the proper number of men not been put on?

A. Yes.

( 64 )

Q.-Suppose the work had been hurried up, that pressure had been put on the Contractor to make him finish in time, would not there be a risk the work might not be

done so well?

A.-I don't know; they might get more men.

Q.-It might have been finished in time?

A.-Well there are some jobs they could not finish in time. They have not enough time. The sea-wall depends on the tides.

Are

Q.-The Observatory, was that finished in time?

A.-Yes.

Q.-And you don't know what has kept the Police Station back?

A.-No.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Is the staff sufficient for the work you have to do? you overworked? Is there too great pressure? Is there sufficient staff thoroughly to inspect the work that is done?

A.-If the work is fairly divided there are enough to do it.

Q.-You have no reason to complain?

A.-No.

Q.-If there are not sufficient Overseers it is a valid excuse to say "I cannot do the

You don't feel that way ?

work."

A.-No. I have two or three jobs over there. They are close together, and I stop there. I have a room in the Police Station.

Mr. BUTLER is examined,—

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-You are an Overseer of roads?

A. Yes.

Q.-Out of town?

A.-Out of Victoria, yes.

Q.-Do you look after all the roads out of Victoria?

A.-Yes; roads and bridges and all the mountain roads.

Q. How long have you been in the service?

A.-A little over four years.

Q. -What were you before?

A.-I was Carpenter of the Water Police for five years.

( 65 )

-How long have you been in the Colony altogether?

A.-About nine years.

Q.-You look after the construction of these roads?

A. Yes, their construction and repair.

Q.-Well, Mr. PRICE speaks very highly of you. He says you look after these roads very well; but he also tells us the Chinese are rather afraid of

insist so much on having the work done thoroughly.

A. Yes, I require the works to be well done.

you, because you

Q.-Now, Chinese being what they are, have some of them ever offered you any. thing to be a little easier with them?

A.-No.

Q-It has never been hinted that if you would be a little more easy it might be worth your while?

A.-No.

Q.-Have

any of them ever offered you money in any shape or way

A.-No, they have not.

Q.-You remember Mr. ALFORD, who was in the department?

A. Yes.

Q.-You remember that he was appointed Inspector of Buildings when he first joined ?

A. Not that I recollect. I think that was before I joined.

Q.—However, he had not been in the department three months before he charged a Chinaman at the Magistracy with offering him money. Has anything of that kind happened to you?

A.-No.

Q.-Have you known of its happening to any one else?

A.-No.

Q. Did you sign that Memorial to the Governor asking for an inquiry?

A. Yes.

Q.-Well, you must have formed some idea as to how such an inquiry could be carried on.

If you were carrying it on yourself where would you push your inquiries?

A.-I could not say.

Q-Well, it is rather hard to ask the Government to undertake a task when you have no idea of how it should be carried out.

A.--The way,

I should

say,

would be to take the proceedings you are now taking

to inquire?

* ( 66 )

Q.-But who are the people who could give us some information?

A.-I am sure I don't know.

Q.-Do

you think yourself these charges that have been made are true or otherwise?

A.-False.

Q.--You think they are false?

A. Yes.

-Don't you know it is a fact men in the position of Overseers have retired with considerable sums of money?

A.-I don't know of any.

Q.-And you don't know any of the Overseers do make money?

A.-No, I don't.

Q.-Have you felt at all afraid the Chinese might make charges against you on account of your unpopularity amongst them?

A.-No.

Q.-Have you felt yourself that you are more unpopular than other Overseers?

A.—No, I don't know that I have, I have always insisted on the Contractor doing his work in a proper manner, but I don't know why I should be unpopular amongst

them.

Q.-Well, it is no discredit if you are.

A.-It has never been reported to me.

Q.-Mr. PRICE informs us, some Contractor had said that if you were going to look after a road he would put so much more on the contract price. It is not the least discreditable to you.

A.-No. I insist in the work being done well. When work is done by contract

I insist on the contract being carried out.

Q.-What is it these men would like to do if you did not look after them?

A.--I suppose they would slight their work.

Q.-In what way? Suppose you were absent two or three days, or for a fortnight

what would you expect to find when you get back ?

A.-That the work was slighted to some extent.

Q.-In what particulars?

A.-In the general construction of the work; it would be badly put together.

Q.-On roads, for instance, what would they do?

A.-Well, they cannot slight the making of a road much; it is more in masonry or wood work, where they might use bad material; but in the making of a road they could not slight it much, unless they were surfacing it with lime, concrete or broken stone; then they might probably use bad material to some extent.

(67)

20

Q.-I suppose if you were away you would expect to find they had done so ?

A. In some cases.

for doing their work.

There are Contractors that are somewhat better than others

Q. Do you help these men in making out their bills at all?

A.-No.

Q.-Not at all?

A.-I correct the measurements.

Q.

-Do they offer you any thing?

A.-No. It is my duty to correct the measurements.

I must measure all the

work when it is completed, and if their measurements are not correct, of course I correct

them.

Are you looking after that piece of road close by the Cathedral?

Q.-Are

A.--No; I do no work in town. All my work is out of Victoria.

Q. Do you help them to set the work out at all?

A. Yes, it is necessary to lay out the work to some extent for them, to give

them directions.

Q.-Do they ever give you anything for that?

A.-No; it is part of my duty to instruct them how to do their work.

Q.-I believe they send presents at Christmas time?

A. Yes.

Q.-What presents?

A.-Small presents from the markets such as fowls.

Q.-Do they ever send boxes of cigars or cases of champagne?

A-No, never.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-How many men are connected as a rule with the mak- ing and repairing of roads, actually engaged in contracts, I mean, not tenders? How many men have you got to deal with?

A.-There are some eight or nine who have done work under my charge.

Q-They tender from time to time?

A. Yes.

Q.-You have nothing to do with the settlement of the contracts with them?

A. No.

Q.-You said some are better than others?

A.-Yes, some are better than others.

( 68 )

-Have you ever had certain specific complaints to make against them for putting bad material in?

A.—No, not generally.

Q.-You have had occasionally?

A.-I have had occasionally some slight complaints.

Q. Do you know of any Contractors outside those who are employed by the Government who would tender if they were asked?

A.-No.

Q.-You think the Government as a rule distributes its patronage pretty fairly amongst all the Contractors?

A. Yes, so far as I know.

Q.-You have never had any complaints that others could do it cheaper?

A.-No.

Q.-You don't think a better system could be adopted?

A.-I think not, to the best of my opinion.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Have you ever heard any individual say anything against the Public Works Department, or repeat anything, or say there were rumours?

A.—No, except what I see in the Hongkong Telegraph.

Q.-

-You have never had the opportunity of challenging any one as to the truth of these things?

A.-No.

-You have no suspicions as to what can have given rise to this?

A.--No, none.

Q.-Are there any men who used to be Contractors, who have ceased to be So, are still in the Colony?

A.--Not that I am aware of.. I don't know of any particular one.

who

;

Mr. JOHN MINHINNETT is examined.

--Hon. A. LISTER.-What are you in the Public Works Department?

A.-Foreman mason.

Q.-You were employed on the Praya works?

A.-Yes.

Q.-You came out on purpose?

A. Yes.

1

4

}

( 69 )

--How long have you been in the Colony?

A.--I was under Government for two years, and then I stayed with the P. & O. Company for seven months.

Q. -How long have you been in the Colony altogether?

A.—I was here two years and seven months and have now been here thirteen

months.

Q.—So you have been in the Colony nearly four years altogether?

A.--Very nearly.

-What works do you specially look after?

A.-I am in charge of roads in the Central and Eastern Districts.

Q.--You signed the petition to the Governor for an inquiry?

A. Yes.

Q.—What is it you want inquired into?*

A.-I don't know in particular.

Q.--What is it you ask?

A.-Well, I have seen certain things in Mr. FRASER-SMITH'S paper: that is all I know particularly about it.

Q.-Those words to the effect that there is a good deal of bribery and corruption in the Public Works Department?

A.--Yes.

Q.-Well, do you know anything about that yourself?

A.-No, I do not.

Q.-How would you set about it if you wanted to find it out?

A.-I could not find it out. I would not know the way to go about it.

Q.-Has any bribe ever been offered to you?

A.-No.

Q.-Have you ever heard of its being offered to anyone else?

A.-I never heard any one say so.

Q.-Do you remember an inquiry into a charge against Mr. BOWDLER of having assaulted certain Contractors on the Praya?

A. I do. I was one of the witnesses.

Q.-And, to speak quite plainly, your evidence in that matter did not leave an impression on my mind that you had told all you knew.

A.-I beg your pardon.

( 70 )

Q.-Mr. BOWDLER in that particular matter was acquitted; the charge was not proved?

A. Yes.

Q.-Nevertheless, did you not know as well as I do that Mr. BowDLER had been thrashing those men?

A. On the section of the work I was on I did not know he had been striking a I was not asked the question whether I had heard any one say so. I was asked the question whether I had seen him, and I said no.

man.

Q.-Well, I should like to ask you in the same way, are you keeping back anything now, something we don't happen to ask you, but something you know? -

A.-No, nothing at all. Since I have been in the department, I have been shifted here and there, at Tai-tam Water-works, Causeway Bay Break-water, and all over the place.

Q.-But you all talk amongst yourselves, and I have no doubt every man knows what the others know. You must know something about this?

A.-No, I have not heard any man say a word.

Never heard anything about making money ?

A.-No, never in my life.

Q.—I suppose you know money is made by Clerks of Works and so on?

A.—No; I have been Clerk of Works here and at home. I never had money offered me.

tracts ?

will

-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Have you anything to do with the overseeing of con-

A.-I have now.

Q.-That is to say, on roads?

A. Yes.

Q.-But with regards to contracts for other public works?

A.-No; I have nothing to do with them.

Q.-Then as foreman mason all you have to do is with regard to roads?

A.-No; I was on the Praya-wall.

Q.-And you have to inspect these contracts?

A. Yes, to see the work is carried out according to contract.

Q.-Have you ever had complaints to make?

A.-Oh, yes; often we have to make complaints to the Surveyor General, and he go and have a look at it, and if it is not to his satisfaction he will take it down again.

( 71 )

Q.-Have you anything to do with measuring work?

A.-Now I have, on small jobs.

Q.-You have to measure work and see the claim the Chinese foreman makes out

is correct?

Then

A. Yes. We make a rough estimate and submit it to the Surveyor General in the first instance, before the work is commenced, and then it is contracted for.

we have a plan and specification put into our hands and we see it is carried out.

Q.-And after it is done, do you measure it?

A. Yes. If there is anything extra we give it, if any deficiency we deduct it.

Q.-You see the work the Contractor claims for has been done ?

A.-Yes.

Q-Are you solely responsible?

A.-No.

Q.-Who is responsible besides yourself?

A.-The Surveyor General.

Q.-But

you say you measure it?

A.-But if he felt disposed to measure it after me he could.

Q. -But in the usual course of business you measure the work after it is done and send in your statement to Mr. PRICE ?

A. Yes, we give the length and breadth, and so on.

Q.—And that is all that is done, no one supervises you ?

A.-Very often Mr. BOWDLER comes and measures afterwards.

-Do you compare estimate with the result?

A.-No. The man who tenders lowest gets the contract, and we see it carried out according to the specification made in the office.

Q. Do you ever assist the Contractor in measuring the work after it is done?

A.-No; I always measure after him.

-Do you measure it with him?

A.-Sometimes I have been measuring, and he has taken the dimensions I took; other times he has measured long before.

Q -Then, if you chose to be dishonest, there would be an opportunity for you to show more work was done than was the case?

A.-No, it is all surface work; you could not say that.

( 72 )

Q-But if it is not supervised, and you have to say so much work have been done, it would be easy for you to say 10 or 15 per cent. more was done?

A. Yes, but that would be dishonest.

Q.-I am not saying you do it, but there is an opportunity?

A. Well, he comes and measures after perhaps.

Q.-But you have the opportunity?

A.—Well, every one has the opportunity of being dishonest if he likes.

Q.-And in the usual way in which the work is carried out in this Colony there is

not much supervision over the work you do?

A. Yes, more than there is at home.

Q.-Suppose you had to measure work to-morrow, who would supervise you?

A.-Mr. Bowdler.

Q.-Does he measure every contract?

A. Yes.

Q.-You have said it was only now and then he did.

A. Yes, but when a Contractor is going round to the work he is going to take up he goes with him.

Q.-But do you mean to say every piece of work you measure, Mr. BOWDLER mea- sures again? I am speaking of work large or small, which you say you are entrusted with the duty of measuring. I ask you, does Mr. BOWDLER or some of

officers check it after you?

your superior

A.-No, he only checks the bill.

Q.-Then there would be opportunities if you chose to certify more work was done than was actually done?

A. Yes, if I wished to do it.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Have you ever heard any one say any one gets bribes, or squeezes, or cumshaws?

A.-No.

Q.-Ever heard any one talk about this?

A.-No, no one in the department.

Q.-I mean outside.

A.-Well, I have seen a lot in the paper, and I have heard a lot of people talk about the squeezing in the Public Works Department.

Q.-You have heard a lot of people talking?

A. Yes; any one can see it when he takes a newspaper up.

}

(73)

Q.-That is what you read, but I mean people talking. Could you give me half a dozen names of people who talk?

A.-No. I could not.

Q-But merely those

you

recollect?

if

A.-No; I have heard men speak in common conversation, that is all.

Q.—But it is a subject that would interest you. You are in the department and

you heard a man say the Overseers get squeezes it would naturally strike you?

A.-No. I never heard any one mention personally to me about the squeezing.

Q.-You have merely heard it repeated in conversation?

A-Yes.

Q.-Well, everything you hear comes out of some one's mouth. Now cannot you give me the names of a few individuals?

A.-No; I would not like to do that, because perhaps if I give you the names of half-a-dozen people they might say point blank they did not say it.

Q.-Well, no matter; it will be no harm to you.

A.-Well, I would rather not. I could not give you the name of any one.

Q.-Why not?

A. Because I am not sufficiently acquainted with them. It is merely in the way of talking about these paragraphs that have appeared in the paper. People will talk of course about these things.

Q.-I know they will. I only want you to tell us-there is no harm in telling who they are.

A.-No. I cannot. It is merely in a common way. There might have been four or five, or five or six.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Did they say they believed these stories?

A.-No, I never heard any one say they believed it.

Q.-What do they say then?

A.-Simply talking about it.

Q.-Well, what is the general character of the observations they make?

A. They think we are doing very well, and words like that, just in the way

of chaff.

Q.-They think you are doing very well in taking money beyond your pay. When men say that to you what do you say? You were very indignant when I asked you if there was not an opportunity. Were you indignant when a man charged you with receiving money?

A.-No one charged me.

( 74 )

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-But he charges the department, and you are one of it.

A. That is the reason I gave.

Q.-Then you ought to assist us.

A. Yes, I give you all the assistance I can.

Q.—All you say is you know these things are said but you won't tell us who say them.

A.-I could not mention one name.

Q.-I don't mean a man who would tell us. Probably he would not; he would

not care to come up here.

A. I have heard it in common talk, but I could not give you the name of any one.

Q.-Where do you hear it-what sort of places?

A.-I have heard it in the street. At the time I was doing the large sewer opposite the Post Office, men came along and asked me "you belong to the Public Works Department? "Yes." "Have you seen that in the paper ?" "No. I have not." I would not know their names.

Q.-You mean people came and questioned you in that

A. Yes.

Q. Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Strangers?

A. Yes.

Q.-And did you allow that to be done?

A.-I gave them yes or no.

way ?

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Have you heard of their going to other men?

A.--No.

Q.-Would you know these strangers by sight?

A.-I think I would.

Q.-Did they bring a note book with them and all that?

A.-No.

Q. What did they ask you? What sort of questions?

A.-Merely "you are one of the Surveyor General's people?" "Yes."

"Did you

see FRASER-SMITH'S paper ?" They might know me, but I did not know them. If I had seen it I would say so; if not, no; or I might say I did not take much notice of what was said, I did my duty, I knew that without fear of contradiction.

Q--You must know the names of some of these people besides those in the street?

A.-No, I don't. I don't know the names of 20 men in the Colony and don't mix in any company.

1

( 75 )

-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-With reference to this work that is not done by contract and which you measure. We have had it stated by a gentleman connected with the department that in his belief Overseers who measure work make out bills, or if they don't make out bills assist the Contractors in making out their claims. Have

done that?

A. Yes. I have. I assist them to put the work right.

Q. And it is considered justifiable to receive remuneration ?

A.---I never received anything.

Q.-I don't

say

in the way of a bribe, but for assisting them?

A.-No, I have never had an offer of anything.

Q.-You have never heard of an Officer in your department having received any- thing in this way? Not in the way of a bribe, but for work done?

A.—I have never heard of such a thing. I have heard Mr. DAVIS say he had an offer of money, but he would not take it. He said he would report the man to the Surveyor General if he offered him the money again. That is all I have heard.

The Commission adjourns.

EIGHTH MEETING,

17th January, 1884.

Mr. W. DANBY, Architect, is examined,-

-Hon. A. LISTER.-How long have you been in Hongkong, Mr. DANBY?

A.-Ten years and a half.

-And of that time what portion was passed in the Public Works Department?

A.-About five years.

Q.-We want to ask you about the cost of Public Works, about which I think you said you could give us some information, the cost of Public Works as compared with those carried out by private Architects.

A.-How do you mean? In what way?

Q.--Statements have been made that Government works are carried on in an extra- vagant and expensive way, or there seems to be an impression to that effect. Can you give us any information about that?

A.-What I find in my experience is this. Government work as a rule is done in a much better way, is of much better quality, than that of private individuals, and of course you have to pay more for it.

( 76 ) 76)

Q. Do you think, taking the quality of the work into consideration, that the prices are high?

A.-No; taking the quality of the work into consideration I don't think they are at all high. We certainly get work done cheaper, but it is not of the same quality.

Q.-Then arises this question, is the quality of Government work needlessly fine for the purpose?

A.-Well, I cannot say anything about that. I don't see how I could be called upon to answer a question of that kind. If the Government pays for that quality they are entitled to have that quality. If you go in for first quality work in the first instance it saves you a lot of money afterwards for repairs. In private practice you cannot get your clients to look at things from that point of view. They want things put up as

cheaply as they can.

Q.--And they don't regard eventualities?

A. They say "what is the use of providing for five years hence? Probably we shall not be here, or we may have sold the property in the meantime."

Q.-But there may be works too expensive for the purpose, as for instance if a man made a floor of rosewood. Have you noticed any Government work needlessly fine for the purpose it is intended for?

A.—No, I don't know of any. I cannot call to mind any work too good for its purpose. You see the Government here is supposed to provide for the future.

}

Q.-Then arises this question. We are told some Contractors will not work for Government at all. We are told, for instance, that the man who is building that large bank for the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank won't have anything to do with Govern-

ment work.

say

A.-I don't know. That same man won't work for me now.

I trained. He is the same man who built the Oriental and Chartered Mercantile Banks, and the P. & O. offices, but he won't work for me now, because he too particular, and I suppose he thinks the Government is too particular.

He is a man I may

says

I am

Q.-That is the reason he gives?

A.--I know that is one reason; but as a rule Government Contractors are all in a clique; there is one set. Some time ago, when I was in the department we found out a set like this, and we bowled these men out altogether and got tenders from outside

men.

Q.-And were they lower?

A.-Much lower. I forget what the work is just now, but I know there was something of that kind done. I think it was when Mr. PRICE was here, and when he heard of it we set to work and got tenders from outside.

#

77)

Q.-Well we have it in evidence, and you seem to confirm it to a considerable extent, that we cannot expect Government work to be done much lower by anybody than it is at present.

A.-Well, I don't know. The work is all right, but I might be able to make a suggestion perhaps in some respects as regards that. It is not the carrying out of the work. I have been inquiring of some of my Contractors yesterday and to-day, since I was invited to come up here. In my own practice, suppose I get a tender in for some work. I get the tenderer to come down to his lowest point, and then he goes to my client. Say the tender he gives me is $20,000. I send him to my client. My client will say to him, "Now if you will do this for $17,000 or $18,000 I will give you the work," and in some cases, in fact I know as a rule, they do come down, knowing they will get it there and then; but if they have to wait, and don't know whether they will get it or not, they won't. If you had an office where they could go, and the Colonial Secretary or some one would say to them. "My estimate is $17,000; show me where I make a mistake," and if he cannot do so then say. "My estimate is $17,000. If you will do it for that I will give it you.' There is no doubt these men combine.

""

Q.-Then it really amounts to this, that a private person is in a better position for driving a bargain than the Government?

A. Yes, because you tie him (the Contractor) down; you fix him to his price before he has an opportunity of talking to the other Contractors.

Q. -You strike the bargain more quickly?

A. And you put it down. I never allow him to go away, because they fix it among themselves. There is no doubt about that. I have known cases where tenders have been sent in, and before these tenders have been opened I have known not only the names of the persons tendering, but also the contents. You get this information from any Contractor. They all know how each one tenders.

Q.-Have you any reason to suppose the amount of the tenders gets out from the department itself?

there.

A.—No, I don't think that. They know of it, but I don't think it emanates from

Q.-A question has arisen about the measuring of work. Will you kindly tell us what is your own practice with regard to measuring work when it is not done by

contract?

A. Either Mr. LEIGH or myself measures it.

Q.—And you have no trouble?

A.-No; we simply say "you get so much," and if they grumble it has no result. - ́As a rule we always specify in our specification that any extra work done has to be paid for on the scale of the Royal Engineers, and the Public Works Department. They are the same. Some of the prices are too high and others too low, but on the whole it

is fair.

( 78 )

Q.-The Contractor adopts your measurements and puts them in in his bill?

A. We compel him.

-Who makes out these bills for the Contractors?

A.-I don't know. None of my people.

Q.-Have you any reason to suppose he gets assistance?

A. If a bill is presented in the handwriting of any of my clerks we don't look at it.

-Would you object to your clerk being paid for making out bills?

A.-Certainly. He does so occasionally. In this way. The Contractor will bring in a bill he has got some one to make out for him. I will revise that and make correc- tions. Then I say, tell him to take it to my clerk to make a copy, simply a fair copy

of the Contractor's bill after I have revised it.

Q. Do you remember what the practice was as to measuring work in the Public Works Department when you were there?

A.-I never knew there was any practice.

Q. How was the work measured when it had been done?

A

A. The only work I had while I was in the department I measured by myself. The Contractors would send in their bills, and then I measured it by myself, or some of my Assistants whom I had in the office.

Q.-Who were those Assistants?

A.--I can give you the names of NEATE, SAMPSON, and HANDLEY.

Q.-Were they capable to measure?

A.-Oh, yes; after they were shown how to do it. But what I think you are driving at is this. I never allowed the European Overseers to measure the work. I always made that a point. I had a strong opinion on the subject before I came out here. I was on large works at home, and my Chief had strong opinions on it. We never allowed the Overseer in charge of the work to measure up the work.

Q. Do you consider such of the Overseers as you know personally are capable of measuring work?

A.—I am sure I don't know. It would depend on the kind of work it was.

Q.--A sewer for instance?

A.-It would depend on the contract, whether it was by piece work, or so much per yard-so much a cubic yard for concrete and so much a cubic yard for stone work. If it were a measurement involving a lot of intricate work I don't think I should allow him to have anything to do with it. Simple measurements you might allow them to have to do with.

*

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{

( 79 )

Q.-Is there any other information you can give us on the points we are inquiring

about?

A.-I was thinking about that question of measuring up work after I saw you, and it struck me, knowing what I do of the department, that it would not be at all a bad idea to have a special man to measure work. You have them in all large works at home. A measuring Surveyor he is called. He has nothing to do with superintending the work or looking after it. If it is in a trench, he has to measure the concrete before it is covered up. You must understand most of this slipped work is underground work; it is covered up and you cannot see it. Sewers you see we put in a trench, filled up, and are out of sight. There ought to be a man something like Mr. FLEMING in the Royal Engineer Department. Taking into consideration the great amount of work they have in hand, the Government ought to be able to afford a good officer for that department. The Overseers you get out here are only second or third rate men.

You

+

cannot get good men here. Good men won't come out. Such a man as I speak of measures the work, makes out a statement of that work, and values it according to the schedule or contract prices, and the Contractor has to be paid by that.

-That forms the basis of the bill?

A.—No, that is the bill the Contractor is supplied with. The Contractor can tell him if there is any mistake; he has the opportunity of revising it.

Q.-Then the Contractor would take that actual piece of paper to the Public Works Department to serve as his bill?

A. Yes. It would be the special office of this man to measure the work and value it. The Overseer in charge would have nothing to do with the measuring.

Q. Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-How long were you in the department?

A.-Five years. I left at the great fire.

Q.-Did your duties bring you into connection with the contracts?

A. Yes; I had connection with all the new works; not repairs.

-Had you anything to do with the selection of tenders?

A.-No; they were all sent in to Mr. PRICE, but still before Mr. PRICE opened

these tenders I knew as a rule the amounts and knew the Contractors who had sent in

tenders.

Q.-But you had nothing personally to do with them?

A.-No.

Q.—The reason I asked was to ascertain whether you thought the system with regard to the advertising and acceptance of tenders was a good one.

A. Well, it is the usual thing. I don't know that it could be improved upon. Certainly the advertisements in the Government Gazette are not much, but these Con- tractors pass the word on; they all know about it.

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Q.-Then with regard to the present system, there is no great change, as far as

you could suggest?

you are aware,

that

A.—No, I don't know that I could suggest any alteration in that respect. There is another thing I have found. These are points that have come to my knowledge since I left the Government service. Now I find that if in a contract, if it is rather a heavy job, I specify payment is to be made by cheque, I can get that work done some five or six per cent. cheaper.

Q.-I don't understand what you mean when you say "paid by cheque."

A.-I am doing some work for you, say: I distinctly specify, you give the Con- tractor a cheque, not an order on the Compradore.

Q.-Oh, then there is a squeeze?

A. Yes. I give you a certificate in the morning, you give him a cheque say at noon, and he takes it straight to the Bank.

Q.-And where is the difference between that and the system in the Public Works Department?

A.-Mr. PRICE signs a bill to-day, say (this is what the Contractors have told me over and over again) and they probably have to wait a month for their money. That is equal to one or two per cent. with them; and then there are certain squeezes.

Q.-Is there any opportunity?

A.-No doubt there is.

Q.-Don't they get paid at the Bank?

A.-No, by the Shroff here.

Q.-Are they paid in specie out of the Treasury?

A.-They are supposed to be paid out of the Treasury. A man has to draw $400 say. He will get $300 say, in dollars or notes, and the other $100 in cash-a squeeze

for the Shroff.

Q.-In these days of Banking accounts is it possible they have a Shroff who pays in loose money and has power to squeeze?

A.-This is what I have heard lately. I know if it had come up when I was in the service, and had come to the ears of Mr. PRICE it would have been stopped at once.

Hon. A. LISTER.-I may just explain one point. Sir RICHARD MACDONNELL was much troubled by the rapid accumulation of copper in the Treasury. It drifted back again in spite of all efforts to get it into circulation, and he directed (what I think a mistaken policy) that all Contractors should be paid so much per cent. in copper; and this was vigorously carried out.

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Witness.-I don't suppose the Contractors would object to be paid in copper sup- posing they get the full amount, but there is a discount on it, and the Shroff pockets

that discount.

Hon. A. 'LISTER.-No; the Shroff pays the copper at par, that is the grievance, but copper in the market is at about 13 per cent. discount.

-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You believe in the practice of the Government in paying for work done there is an opportunity of squeezing on the part of the Government

officials?

A. Yes, I think there is.

Q.-You have told us that you think there is great opportunity both in private and public work for the Contractors to form themselves into a ring?

A. Yes.

Q.-Do you know the names of the usual Contractors for the Government ?

A.—I did know them, I know some of them now I think.

Q.-Do you think the Government could go with advantage beyond that body, or are pursuing the best course in employing say 15 usual Contractors?

A.-These men are about the best in the Colony for their special work. If I have any special work, say it is paving, I try to get one of the Government Contractors; so with sewers, I try to get the Government Contractor for sewers.

Q.-But with regard to the inviting of tenders, do you think the Government

go with advantage beyond the usual number to whom notices are sent?

would

A.—No; it would only lead to other difficulties. These are really the best men in the Colony.

Q.-You have told us the Government work is as cheap, quality for quality, as private work, and now you say you don't think the system of having a certain number of Contractors is more apt to lead to the formation of a ring than any other?

A.-No; but what I want to say in addition to that is that supposing these Con- tractors were given to understand that immediately on Mr. PRICE certifying their account was correct they would get their money at the Bank, the full amount, you would get it five or six per cent. cheaper. It is this waiting, Clerks making out bills, and so on.

Q.-And if a Contractor could get a cheque immediately?

A. You would find a difference of about five per cent.

Q.-In your private practice I suppose you often find the Contractors endeavour to give you bad material?

A.-Invariably.

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1

*

Q.- -We are told that in Government work there are several Overseers deputed to look after the work. Do you sce any way in which that can be changed with advantage, that system of having Overseers to superintend it?

A.-No. The weakness is this, that the man who superintends the work has to certify for payment of the same. My suggestion comes in there as to the measuring Clerk. I don't know for an actual fact, but I have every reason to believe it to be true; for instance, I could not specify a road was made of 12 inches of concrete; it was not my duty to look after that; it was the Overseer's; the Overseer would go and tell the man. "No, you make it 9 inches." Do you think the difference would go into the Contractor's pocket? Now, if you have an independent man who goes in and measures the work it would be no advantage to him to certify wrongly.

Q.-Who would see whether there was lime or not?

A. That is the Overseer's duty.

2.—Well, there is opportunity for bribery there?

A.-But the measuring Surveyor would see whether the concrete was 9 inches or 12 inches, and it would be no benefit to the Overseer then to say "Maskee. 12 inches, put down 9 inches."

Q-I don't think you quite understand. As far as measuring is concerned there is the check, but as regards bad material there is no check.

A.-No, but the Superior Officer would soon find that out. It is very seldom we have complaints about bad material. Mr. PRICE, Mr. BOWDLER, or Mr. ORange, would see it at once.

Q.-But as regards measuring?

A.-I have heard it said that where four or five stone channels are specified they have put three stone channels in. Now the measuring Clerk would see that.

Q.-You have heard what is said about corruption. Have you had in your ex- perience any direct instances that have come to your knowledge in which you could say you knew of corruption?

A--No. I know the men get things; my own men get it, the Royal Engineers get it, but you can never bring it to them.

Q.-But you believe there are?

A.-No doubt about it. When I was in the service these Overseers had more money to spend than we had, and lived at a better rate. It is the same with my own Overseers and the Royal Engineers, but I don't think it is worse here than at home.

Q.-And the only thing you can suggest is that there should be a special Officer to measure up?

A. Yes.

1

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83)

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-You say that with regard to quality this system under which the Surveyor General or Deputy Surveyor General goes round and looks at the work from time to time is sufficient?

A. Yes; no doubt about that.

-But as regards the quantities you say a casual visit of that kind would not be

a sufficient check?

A.-No, another thing, it means not only measuring up, but squaring the measure-

ments as we call it, and carrying them out.

Q-Well, this measuring; he would go round, he would see, where the specifica- tion says 12 inches of concrete, not only that the length was right, but the depth?

A. Yes, and it would be his duty if the work was covered up to tell the Con-

tractor to expose it.

Q.-At present no one can see that?

A.-No one but the Overseer in charge of the contract. I have found as a rule

the bills are made out from the Contractor's bill.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Instead of being checked independently by a Govern- ment Officer?

A.-—Yes; it is the same in my own practice; I don't say in every case.

Q. And I suppose you consider such Officer, if appointed, should be well paid, and a superior man?

A.-You can get these men. They are called measuring Surveyors. It is a branch of the architectural profession that has cropped up within the last ten years. He ought to receive a good salary, because he would have a great responsibility on him, and he would have to be a man you could rely on.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.--Do you know of a case in which work that has been passed and paid for as 5 inch work say had been found afterwards to be really only 3 inch work?

A.-No. You see that did not come under me. I had nothing much to do with that class of work. I had nothing much to do with the class of Overseers they have I had my own work and my own special Overseers. If it was in a Court of law you would say it was not evidence, but there are things you hear every day talked of in the department. They have opportunities of doing it.

now.

Q.--And there is no means of detecting them?

A.-No means. You simply depend on the word of the Overseer in charge of the work, and he certifies the bill.

Q,-Hon. A. LISTER.-But I suppose if an Overseer allowed, for instance, a 14 inch wall to be built only 9 inches, he would run a great risk of detection afterwards?

1

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A.-There is a great amount of road work done in the department, and how would you find that out? and a great amount of sewering. The sewers are put down and may be backed with concrete or may not, but as soon as they are put down the trench is filled in, and how are you to know?

Q.-In fact it could only be detected by an accident afterwards?

A.-But you have closed the contract with the Contractor.

Q.-But still the Overseer would be liable to dismissal or punishment?

A.-If he was found out.

Q.-Suppose the sewer got choked and was opened, and it became apparent?*

A.—I have been having new specifications printed lately, and I have had to put new clauses in on my experience since I left the Government service. One is that if I find a Contractor giving presents, large or small, to any one, I fine them so much. These Contractors are very insinuating, and a foreman has to be very strong minded

to meet them.

Q. Do you find them ever cover it up?

A.-You expect them to build it up, but they will hurry over it sometimes.

Q.-Then the fine would be having to take it up again?

A.-One way of getting over that is this. If I have any suspicion I make the man take it up. If it is all right I pay him for the trouble of doing so; if it is wrong of course he has to take up the whole thing.

Q.—I see sometimes broken stone and earth being measured in a square wooden box, a cubic foot. It is then placed in a heap. What check is there that the heap con- tains the right numbers of boxes full?

A. That rests between the Contractor and sub-Contractor, not the Government. Government will measure that work up when it is finished.

Q.-Then whether the heap contains 99 boxes or a hundred does not affect the

Government at all?

A.-No; it is only the work being badly done that affects the Government.

Q.-Would you say it is as hopeless to prevent Overseers taking presents as to prevent railway porters at home taking them?

A.-No; it is about the same. In my opinion, when Contractors found they were not dependent as it were on the Overseers for the amount they receive, the amount of work that is passed, you would find that sort of thing would decrease very considerably.

-In fact you must attack it at the roots?

A.-It is not the Overseers, they are not the men, and you cannot stop that sort of thing, but you can stop it to a very great extent I am certain if the Contractors see they are not dependent on these Overseers for the amount of money they are to receive -if another officer stepped in who had nothing to do with superintending the work.

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Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-That you consider to be the defective feature?

A. Yes, taking into consideration the amount of work the Government does.

Q. In all your experience can you say you have any knowledge of any case of

Q.-In

squeezing? I don't mean cumshaws in the way of Christmas presents, but something

substantial.

A.-No, I have no definite case.

Q.-Have you ever heard any definite case against any person?

A.-No, I cannot say that I have. I dare say you will have it in evidence a lot of suspicious things take place, but you cannot call that evidence.

Q.-But nothing against an individħal ?

A.-No, nothing special.

Q.-Would you object to mention the names of any of these persons who are in the habit of saying that all is not right in the department, in the sense that there is corruption?

A.-When I see a man knocking about, going to races and talking about sweeps, and having champagne every day, I think that looks suspicious, but I cannot bring that man up and accuse him of it.

Q.-Suppose there are these statements made, suppose it is popular talk that there must be squeezing, and cumshaws, and so on among the Overseers, otherwise you would not find them living beyond their means. Going about the place you must know who the people are who say these things.

A.-I cannot say I know of any special case.

-Either of individuals named as likely to be getting cumshaws, you cannot mention the names of the people who say these things?

A.-You hear all kinds of talk, but as a rule you take no notice of it. What I have told you is from my own experience.

-Well, there may be people who may know of different things; probably they might not be willing to come forward, but if we could only get the names of some we might at all events ask them. For instance, if I heard a man holding forth and saying, "It is all very well, but there is no doubt these fellows do get squeezes," I might try the experiment of saying to him. "Now you speak as if you knew something about it. Can you give us any instances from which you form that conclusion?” Do you see what I mean?

facts.

A. Yes, but I cannot mention any names.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-The object is to get hold of some one who can give us

A.-There is no doubt presents are given. It is just the same at home. It was just the same thing when I was Assistant Borough Engineer at Leeds. We had the same thing among our Overseers there,

( 86 )

Q.-These charges you speak of applied exclusively to Overseers?

A. Yes. You hear these things and think nothing more of them. It is an every day occurrence, it is looked upon as a matter of fact.

-Hon. A. LISTER.-In fact it is just like railway porters at home?

A. Yes.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-These charges you allege are commonly talked about are against the Overseers, and you hear no charges to which you attach importance brought against the higher Officers?

A.-No; in fact I know the Government would have heard of it long ago if any thing of the kind had come to any one's knowledge.

The Commission adjourns.

NINTH MEETING,

18th January, 1884.

Present: Honourable A. LISTER, Treasurer.

""

F. B. JOHNSON.

Absent:-Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

Mr. J. M. FLEMING is examined,-

-Hon. A. LISTER.-You are an Officer of the Royal Engineers?

A.-I am District Surveyor under the War Office.

Q. How long have you been connected with the Engineers?

A. About 27 years.

Q.-And how long have you been in Hongkong?

A.-Five years within a month or so.

*

Q.-We understand your special duties are to measure work after it has been done.

A.-That is my present duty, but then here I have to design work as well. You see there is scarcely enough work for me to do in mere measurement. That would be my duty in a large station where there was a great deal of work, but I assist generally

in the duties here. Of course I am available for that purpose.

Q.-Will you tell us the largest work the Royal Engineers have performed during

the time you have been here?

A.-I think the Sanitarium, perhaps; and those batteries at Stone Cutters' Island ; then of course alterations and new buildings, but not to any great extent.

$

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Q.-Let us take the Sanitarium. Suppose the building of the Sanitarium has been just decided on, what are the first steps taken to carry it out?

A. First you would ask for tenders. There is a certain amount voted for it, suppose we say £7,000. That £7,000 cannot be exceeded except by special authority of the Secretary of State. Then there are what are called Division Officers here, and they have under them what are called foreman of works, Sergeants of Sappers.

Q.-But I suppose first specifications would be prepared?

A.-The specification for the work would of course be prepared in the first instance,

and immediately afterwards estimates would be prepared based on our Schedule of prices.

Q. And then you advertise for tenders?

A. Yes.

Q. What is your system when you have got the tenders? When you have got the tenders and opened them do you necessarily give the contract to the lowest tenderer, or do you exercise a discretion?

A.-We give it to the lowest. The names of all parties tendering are given to me and I go and make inquiries. I find out about their competency and as to their means. I come here to this office and ask Mr. PRICE or Mr. BOWDLER if he could recommend

these men, or I go to others for whom they have done work, or if a man refers to the Bank I go to the Bank and see if he has funds at his disposal.

Q.—Then you don't necessarily choose the lowest tender?

A.—No, not if he is not competent.

Q.-But as a rule you do?

A. Yes, we must, because if there was a lower tender than the one accepted we must give our reasons to the Secretary of State for War why it was not accepted.

Q.-I think I saw a printed form on which you assign the reason?

A. Yes, we have to give that reason.

Q.-Then having accepted the tender what check do you keep on the man as to the performance of the work, as to Overseers?

A.—That is the point I spoke to you about. There are two divisions here. Of course the Commanding Engineer is the Senior Officer in the place. I as Surveyor am immediately under his orders. Then there are two Division Officers, Major MULLOY and Major LLOYD. They have got a staff of foremen under them. At intervals I am asked to go and look at the works, not in the way of inspection, but to see if there is anything going wrong and which I could prevent. There is no responsibility on me whatever. That is the reason I say the man who was to measure the work ought in no way to be responsible for the work, because he would have a one-sided interest and could not act indifferently between two parties.

Q.—Then you go as adviser?

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A. Yes, but no one is bound to adopt my advice. When the work is completed all the documents are handed to me and I am to go and measure it, if by measure work; if by contract I take the specification and plans and go and measure the work, read the specification, which is my text, and see whether the work has been done according to the specification and plans. In the case of any deviation, if it arises from a lesser quantity in weight or measure, I note that, and it is made a deduction from the Contractor. If it be in excess I don't measure it at all. I take no notice of it, unless the Contractor can produce the written order for that excess. He gets no credit for excess without a written order. Anything not done is deducted. We have the power, if we think the work is not done according to specification, to make him pull it down and do it exactly, but of course we would not do that unless we thought it affected the stability of the

building.

-How many Corporals would you keep continually on a work like the Sanitarium?

A. One man. He would be a man of the rank of Sergeant. But all these are trained men. Originally they are tradesmen, and then they are trained in the School of Military Engineering.

Q.-Then while the work is going on can the Contractor get advances of money in

any way?

1

A. Yes, he gets monthly advances, say the contract is for £10,000 and takes ten months to complete, he would get £1,000 a month, less a reserve which is kept from him, of 25 per cent. That would be paid to him three months after the completion of the

contract.

Q.-But you never pay him for more than he has done?

A.-No, nor as much. We always keep 25 per cent in hand until the contract is done; then we pay him in full.

Q.--When the work is finished how does he make out his bill? Does your depart-

ment give him any assistance?

A.-The Contractor is a man who can write English, and he has a measurement book exactly the same as the one I keep, paged and everything else, and he keeps time with me.

As I go on he writes in what I write. The books should correspond, because at the end of the day we compare them, and I have to sign his book and he has to sign mine, and it is from that he has to make out his bill. I hand mine to the clerks in the office and it becomes simply a question of calculating the money.

Q.-Does he make this book or do you supply it?

A.—It is an ordinary book; they can be purchased.

Q.-Then the measurements and so forth having been adjusted, can he get his

money at once, or has he to wait till the end of the month?

A. He can get it the day the bill is signed.

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Q.-From whom does he get that money?

A. From the Military Paymaster.

Q.-Then there is no waiting for requisitions and so forth?

A.-No. The bill is prepared in duplicate. It is signed by the Surveyor and the Officer in immediate charge of the works, who is directly responsible, and then it is signed as to its general accuracy by the Commanding Engineer, and the Paymaster pays it on that.

shroff?

-Do you know anything of the details of the actual payment, whether it is by

A.-There is no such person employed. They are all paid by cheque, or if small amounts they keep small sums for that purpose.

-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-There is no go-between?

A.-No.

Q.-No one to make a squeeze?

A.-No. Of course if there is 5 cents or 7 cents they get it in copper, but if there is 10 cents they get it in silver.

Hon. A. LISTER.-Do you suppose then Sergeants who are put in charge are exposed to taking bribes, or that they do take bribes?

A.-Well, I could not tell you what my suspicion is, if you will excuse me, because it is a question I would not like to answer. Our object is to keep as sharp a look out as possible to see it does not happen.

Q.—I understand you to say there would always be a risk of it?

A.-Well I don't know; perhaps there might be.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-But you have no reason to suppose there is any?

A.-I don't say that, but it is a question I would not like to answer, if you will excuse me; it is criminating other people. The object of the whole of us in the world

suppose is that we must somehow watch each other. I doubt if we would all be extremely honest if it were all left to ourselves.

I

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Judging from your letter I understand your main recom- mendation is that of an independent measuring officer.

A. Yes, and also that some of the foremen I have met are I think employed entirely above their capacities. I had a few little jobs to do when I was temporarily engaged in this department. One was the building of a little jetty at the Commissariat. Well a man, was sent to me who perhaps would be a very good man to superintend some workmen on the road, but as for a timber jetty, he absolutely did not know anything at all about it; in fact, it was the Contractor who was telling him his duty.

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Q-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Was he an Overseer, the man who laid out the work?

A.-Oh no,

I laid out the work, but the man sent to assist me was of no use in the world. Then for four or five months I had charge of the new Police Station being built at Kowloon, and the man sent there as an Overseer, BAINS, I believe he is a good and steady man, but he does not know anything at all about it.

Q.-Not qualified to say if the work is good or bad?

A.-He does not understand the plans; he cannot tell you the difference between any timbers; if he has a drawing he does not understand it; he does not know how to lay it out; it is the Contractor who tells him everything; he is simply a dummy there altogether. There are others like him. A man on a large job like that should be a skilful man who could understand what he was doing.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-As compared then with your trained Sergeants, the Overseers of the department are not equal to them?

A.-None of them I have met.

Q.-What pay do your Sergeants get?

A.-Their pay is rather small, I think about 3s. a day, but these men calculate their position as being worth £400 a year, because they have quarters and fuel, and they get a pension, and their wives get free rations, and their children, if they have a dozen or more, get more than they can eat.

--And they take their position as being worth £400?

A. Yes, a man with the rank of Quarter-master Sergeant, that is, as being worth what £400 would be in this Colony. At least I saw a man who was getting £300 a year in Japan, and he made a statement shewing his position was worth £400 in Hong- kong. I did not believe it myself, until he made it out in writing.

Q.-Have you any idea, or would you object to tell us if you knew, what it is Mr. FRASER-SMITH is holding up in his paper as his valuable information?

A.-I don't know anything about Mr. FRASER-SMITH or his paper.

Q.-He says he has valuable information. He seems to decline to come and tell

us what it is. Have you any idea what this valuable information may be?

A.-Not the least in the world. I don't think he has any, if you ask

my opinion.

Q.-You know something, I think, about a man getting paid in copper, or partly paid in copper?

A.—Yes, I should tell you that story. This man came to me only yesterday, and he also came to me two or three days ago; in fact it was he who originated the letter I wrote to Mr. O'MALLEY. He said this Commission was sitting, and he would be obliged if I would try to get them paid the full amount in silver or notes. I asked him what he meant, and he said he was paid in copper. At the time I did not understand

1

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what he meant; I thought it was cash, but he told me it was cents. I asked him if he did not get 100 cents for a dollar. He said yes, but a dollar was worth more

+

"

than 100 cents. I was not aware of that at the time, I asked him how much it was worth. He said 106 to 110 cents. I said, "Do you get paid altogether in this copper money?" He said, "No, we are partially paid in it, but then we have to give away two or three dollars." I said, "Suppose you had $1,000 to receive, how much would you get in this copper money?" He said, "Perhaps we would get $100 to $150." I said, "Would you have to give anything else?" He said, "Yes, two or three dollars and other things besides I give to the shroff." I said, "Now why don't you go and tell the Commission that yourself? I am sure if they knew that and thought it a hardship they would remedy it. You ought to go and tell them." He said no; he would not. And he instanced another matter to me. He said, "I did about $400 worth of works out at Tai-tam, and I was to have received payment for it from Mr. GOULBOURN, I think was the name, some person in the Public Works Office. I know he had notes to pay me and had arranged to meet me at three. I did not arrive then until half-past three and Mr. GoULBOURN had left. He had given instructions to the Portuguese clerk, and he paid the greater portion of it in copper. I thus lost 6 or 10 cents a dollar and had to carry all the copper into town. I said I would complain to Mr. PRICE." Any way, he had to take the copper as I understand.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-He was paid here?

A.-No, out at Tai-tam. Perhaps it was really at this place. I thought it was out at Tai-tam. I see now it must have been here. But it was a Portuguese, he told me; and he had very little hesitation in telling me about the Portuguese. I asked him to come to the Commission and state what he had told me, but he said no, he would not. I said "It is very hard to remedy a thing if you don't complain of it." I am satisfied you could not induce the man to come here, but I am equally satisfied if any of you gentlemen come to my house he would come, if he was not under observation, and mention the names of these people, but he would not come here to be examined.*

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Then during the time you were in the department itself did any abuse come under your own personal knowledge?

A.-No; indeed I had very little to do with it. I saw very little; in fact, I did not see anything, whether it was an abuse or otherwise. I was told just to go out here and

· there and look at the work. Dozens of times I asked for an office and could not get it. I had to make an office in my own house. It was very unsatisfactory to me being in the department at all. I was glad to give it up.

-Was your attention called to the Overseers living above their means?

A.-No; I scarcely spoke a dozen words to them while I was here.

Q. Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-How long were you in the department?

A.-A year and a half.

* A Member of the Commission had an interview with this Contractor at Mr. Fleming's office.

(92)

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Then your attention was not called to this payment in copper while you were in the department?

A.-No; only this week.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Your letter is so very much to the point, Mr. FLEMING that really it leaves very little to be said. You have told us what you believe to be the weak points of the Public Works Department, in answer to Mr. LISTER. Do the cases you have mentioned with regard to the Overseers comprise all the weak points you know of with regard to the department?

A. You would have to enter into a great deal of detail to answer that properly, and I don't know the regulations.

Q.—I mean cases of corruption rather than the working of the department. You have pointed out that there is opportunity for corruption in the measuring of the work. I wanted to ask you whether, from what you know of the department; there are other weak points where corruption might creep in, in the way of bribery?

A.-No; as far as I know myself I don't see there possibly could be. The only way would be by alteration in bills after the signature of the Surveyor General or Chief Officer, I don't suppose such things are done; it would be easy of detection, but such things do happen. Once it happened in the Engineers to the extent of £20,000. After the Commanding Engineer had signed the bills a man went and interlined them and inserted other amounts, and that went on for a number of years before it was found out.

Q. Where do you advertise for tenders?

A.-In the

newspapers.

Q.-In the Government Gazette?

A.-No; it would be no use putting it in that; they don't read it.

Q.-In all the newspapers?

+

A. Yes. We get the Government Gazette, but I don't think anyone in the office ever looks at it. I am sure I don't.

-You mean you advertise in all the newspapers?

A. Yes, including the Chinese papers, but I must tell you it is simply useless. I have found that out, and we only do it because it is a rule of the service, it is simply wasting money. No one ever yet has taken out a tender in our office because they read an advertisement in the newspapers. It is simply that I meet the men, and send for

them and say,

you tender for this?" and they say, "yes." I don't think we have ever had one man who came because he saw it in the newspaper.

"Will

*

Q. Are the contracts open to all tenderers?

A. Yes, any one who chooses to tender.

1

( 93 )

Q.-

-You have not a certain number of men from whom you select?

A.-No.

Q.-

-We have heard a good deal from the private architects about the rings formed by Chinese Contractors; that is, there may be six men tendering, but really they are all one. Do you think that applies to your department?

A.—I don't think it does. I know half-a-dozen men who are entirely independent of one another and are never joined together in a scheme of that sort.

Q.-And as a rule are some of the Contractors the same who do the work for the Public Works Department?

A.-Yes.

Q.-From your knowledge of Government work generally, not only in the Engineer Department, but in the Public Works Department, do you consider the cost is more or less than that of work done for private individuals? Have you any means of knowing?

A.—I have not. I could not answer that question satisfactorily. I believe our contracts are 25 per cent, off the schedule prices, and I believe work is done for private parties at from 27 to 30 per cent off. I believe we pay perhaps 5 per cent more for our work than private individuals do, but I believe we get our work better done.

Q.-For the increased price you pay you get better work?

A. Yes.

Mr. CARVALHO of the Treasury is examined,

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-We want to ask you about the system of paying Contractors, and first of all about the payment in copper. Will you tell the Commission, please, why the system of payment in copper was ever adopted?

A.-When the Colony used to get a large importation of copper.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-For the purpose of getting it distributed?

A.-Yes.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-For how many years has this been going on?

A. About 15 years or so, I think; over 10 years.

Q.-What is the highest percentage you ever paid in copper?

A.-I think 10 per cent.

Q.-And at one time I believe every Contractor without exception had to take 10 per cent?

A. Yes.

( 94 )

Q.-Then I think also we found out that copper was drifting back again into the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank?

A.-It was accumulating at the Bank from our own offices.

Q.-That is to say, the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, being the receiver for the Government, were obliged to receive copper?

A. Yes.

Q. What was the large accumulation they complained of in 1881 ?

A.—About $2,000 worth, I think; between $2,000 and $3,000.

Q.-And we took that off their hands, did we not?

A. Yes.

Q.-And that was handed to Contractors in the same way ?

A.-Yes.

Q.—What amount of copper have you coming in now in that way?

A.-Very little.

-What was the last lot you relieved the Bank of?

A.-$100.

Q.-And that was the accumulation of how long?

A.--A month or so.

Q.-The import of copper from England is stopped I think?

A. Yes, since 1882, about 18 months.

Q.-So this will set itself right in time?

A.-Yes.

Q. Do you ever pay Contractors now in copper?

A.-We give them very little, one or two per cent.

Q.-And that only sometimes?

A. Yes.

Q.-Does the Contractor have any warning he is going to get copper?

A.-No; they know perfectly well, because they are glad now to receive so little.

Q-Exactly, but some get paid without any copper?

A.-No; unless there are several payments in the month and the copper is all done. Then no one would get it.

Q.-Then don't you see what I mean? You may pay a man to-day and give him one per cent in copper, and another man to-morrow might get none at all.

A. If you have no copper in the Treasury and none in the Bank several men would get none.

( 95 )

Q.

-However, the whole matter in a little time will set itself right now?

A. Well, I am afraid it will go on in the way of one per cent. The copper will accumulate at the Bank. The copper is paid into the Bank from the various Government Departments, as collections of rates, taxes, and so on, paid in at par, and then the Bank asks the Government to relieve it of these accumulations. The Government cannot help itself. For instance, the Harbour Master grants licences for junks and cargo boats at 25 cents each, and these are paid for in copper.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You mean to say the Government has no means of getting rid of this copper unless it pays someone or another in copper?

not?

A. Yes.

es. We are bound to receive it if it is not more than a dollar.

-Hon. A. LISTER.-There was a very large accumulation at one time, was there

A.—Yes; we had a vault full up to the ceiling, $40,000 or $50,000 worth.

-The importation of this copper has been stopped?

A. Yes.

Q.-Don't you think it must set itself right in time, however, this copper is gradually disappearing, and there will be no more than is wanted for the circulation of

the town?

A.-I think so.

1

Q.-Can

recollect who you

you

last paid in copper?

A.-I think it was in December last.

Q.-Will you tell us how Contractors are paid?

A.-In notes; no silver; all bank notes.

Q. Do you superintend that payment yourself?

A.-Yes, I can see it from my desk.

Q.-And you see every man gets his payment in notes?

A.-Yes.

Q.-Except the copper you give him as a matter of duty?

A. Yes.

Q.-They don't like taking this copper?

A.-Not that I know of. They are very glad to receive it. To have payments of 10 per cent in it they would not like, but now they are getting so little they don't grumble.

Q.-But they would prefer not to get any at all?

A. Of course, but they cannot help it.

( 96 )

Q.-Do

-Do any of them get paid by cheque?

A.-Some of them.

Q. -What proportion?

A.-In December last I think I gave a cheque direct to the Contractor Nan Ashing.

Q.-It is the exception to pay by cheque?

A. When I see the name of only one man on a pay list, I draw a cheque in his favour; when there are more names then one on a pay list, I draw a cheque for the whole amount and pay to the parties.

Q.-The general rule then is that one cheque is signed for a number of works, and

this is then distributed to the various men in notes and silver?

A. No silver.

Q.-Small silver?

A.-Small silver, yes.

Q. Do you ever hand notes to any body else in the Government Offices for payment? I mean, for instance, have you ever given notes to any Officer in the Public Works Department and told him to go and pay them to so and so?

A.-I have done so.

Q.-Often?

A.-Not often. For the Tai-tam Water-works I did.

Q.-To whom were these notes given?

A.-To Mr. GOULBOURN.

Q.-How often has this been done?

A.-There are a good many people living at Tai-tam who are unable to come over here for their money, and Mr. GOULBOURN will take their money over there and pay them on the spot.

Q.-Are you satisfied yourself they are unable to come in?

A. Yes, because they work day and night. Even on Sunday they work. At the beginning I used to ask Mr. GOULBOURN to send these men to the Treasury, and he told me it would be very inconvenient for these men to leave, and Mr. ORANGE said the men were not allowed to leave their post.

Q.-I think I understood you to say this morning that to pay each man by cheque where the sum was more than $10, say, would involve more labour than the present system of paying it through the Shroff?

A. Yes.

1

7

1

1

(97)

Q.-But that Shroff sits under your own eyes?

A. Yes, both Shroffs.

Q.-So he cannot change any coins, give bad coins, or anything?

A.—No, we don't receive any silver here at all; almost nothing.

Q.-Then are you satisfied every man gets his money in full?

A.-I am.

Q. Do you see him count it?

A. Yes.

Q. Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Has the Shroff charge of the Government money-chest or have you? Where are the notes kept?

A. The notes are kept in a drawer in the safe. The Shroff has the key of the

drawer and I have the key of the safe.

Q.-And when a man presents an order for payment you see the payment made?

A. Yes.

Q. Have you never heard the Shroff is in the habit of receiving presents from the Contractors?

A.-Never.

Q. -Are you not aware almost every Shroff in the Colony does?

A. Yes, but the present Shroff is a very honest man.

Q.-You think he does not take any

bribes?

A.-No.

Q.-He is an exception to all the other Shroffs?

A. He has no means of squeezing. We have no broken silver, and the Con- tractors know they must receive either notes or Hongkong dollars.

Q.-What is the loss they make on receiving copper?

A.-I don't think they make any loss.

-Hon. A. LISTER.-It was once as much as 17 per cent.

A.-Now it is about five, but I don't think the Contractors lose anything, because they pay their workmen in it. If they did not get copper they would pay in broken

silver.

Q. Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Yes, but if you pay anyone in a depreciated currency someone must lose. If you did not pay the sum in that way they might go outside and buy the depreciated coins at a discount.

A.-But they know that and put the price in their contract.

( 98 )

Q.-It therefore follows every man is under a liability to be paid in copper and he

adds on the difference.

A.-But since 1882 the copper has been paid in reduced quantity.

Q.-Now with regard to the bills the Contractors present to the Treasury for pay- ment, which are certified to by the Public Works Department, as a rule how long is it before they are paid after the bill is initialed?

A. That I cannot tell. It is not in my department. The bill is sent in to the Public Works Department by the Contractor. The Surveyor General certifies the bill,

and it then goes to his clerks.

Q.-Mr. BOWDLER told us he always initials bills.

A. But that is not our authority to pay.

Q.-You don't know then as a rule how long it is?

A.-No. The bill goes to the Surveyor General, then to his clerk, then to the Audit Office. When it is passed by the Audit Office it comes to me.

Q.-You have no notice of the day the bill was passed?

A.-No.

Q.-And you don't know of any delay from the time it is initialed until it comes to you?

A.-No.

Q.-And when it comes to you there is no delay?

A.-No.

-You don't know of an instance when you have told a man to come again?

A.-Well, to-day there is a case where I have a cheque for $13,000, and we cannot get the Governor's signature. The man may be kept waiting one or two days.

Q.-What is the greatest time he might be kept waiting?

A.-One or two days.

.-Not more?

A.-No.

Q.-Have Contractors ever complained to you of delays in getting their money?

A.-Not direct to me.

Q.-To any one else?

A.-That I don't know.

Q.-But you say not direct to you?

A.-Well, they often call at my office and ask if I have received the pay list. They have not made any complaint, but they come and ask if I have received the pay

list.

*

1

( 99 )

Q.-You judged from their manner they had a grievance?

A.-Well, that I cannot say.

Q.-Is that a frequent occurrence?

A.-Now and then.

Q.-Would it not be equally convenient for the government service to pay everyone over $100 by a cheque on the Bank, as to keep a Shroff down there to pay the dollars?

A.-No, because there are some pay lists with 20 names on them.

Q.—But that is because you make the pay lists out in that way. Why should you not have a pay list for each man?

A.-Say there is one building on which 40 men are employed. You would have to make out 40 cheques, and the Surveyor General would have to make out 40 pay lists.

Q.-But you talk of 40; you are exaggerating the possibilities of the situation.

A.—Well, there are not so many as that. If you would like to see a pay list, I will bring you one. (Produces pay list).

Q.-Whose duty would it be to write the cheques?

A.-My duty.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-But if we had a system of payment by cheque a junior clerk might write the cheques for signature by someone else.

A. Yes, but a cheque is rather important, and I would like to do.it myself.

Mr. S. G. BIRD, Architect, is examined,—

-Hon. A. LISTER.-I believe you were in the Public Works Department once?

A. Yes.

Q. How many years ago?

A.-I joined in 1864 and left in 1867.

-The department has changed very much since then?

A.-I think so.

Q.-Are you at all acquainted with the working of the department now?

A.-No.

Q.-At the time you were in the department what would you have said were the weak places as far as carrying on Public Works went?

A.-It is so long ago I am afraid it is almost impossible now to tell you what I thought of it.

( 100 )

-To come to the state of things to-day, what we mainly want to ask you is how Government Works compare with those carried out by private architects with regard to

price and the soundness of execution?

A.-I think they pay rather more and I think they get better work. They have much better supervision, and then Government always pay rather more I think because they will probably insist on better material in a building than a private individual would. A private individual generally says "I want a house, but I want it cheap; the Government say "We want a house and we want it good." The supervision is much better also, because they have so many hands, and a Chinaman will always require higher payment for Government Work.

Q.-Mr. FLEMING has told us that as compared with the trained Overseers of the Royal Engineers, the Overseers of the Public Works Department are rather a poor lot. ·

A. Very much so, I should say.

-But I infer again those employed by private architects are worse.

A.-Oh, much. We pick up beachcombers or any one we can get. We are building a house for a person and we ask if they will employ a clerk of works. If they say yes, we have to pick up the best man we can, probably a man who has been discharged from a ship. If we tell him to see the mortar mixed he will do so, or if we tell him to see a wall pulled down it is pulled down. They are not even mechanics. I have one for the Bank, but that is an exceptional work and we have succeeded in getting

one.

Q.-You are aware there has been good deal of talk about the Public Works Department and the alleged bribery and corruption. Do you know anything about

that?

A.-All I know is hearsay. I have had things repeated to me by Contractors.

Q.-Could you tell us what they were?

A.—If I repeat a run our you will never be able to substantiate it, because if I were to call in a Contractor and say "Did you say so and so?" he would say no directly he got before the Commission.

Q.-Will you tell us please something they say?

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Whether true or false it does not matter.

A.-Well, one Contractor told me Mr. BOWDLER's house at the Peak was built for nothing on the understanding the man should have a large share in the Tai-tain Work.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Was he the man who built the house?

A. No, he was not. Another Contractor told him.

Q-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Do you know where he got it?

A.-No; I don't know who the Contractor was; that is, I know the Contractor who

built the house, but I don't know whether he gets a share in the Tai-tam Works.

4

( 101 )

-What is his name?

A.-Tsang King.

Q. -Hon. A. LISTER.-But do you think there was any probability in such a story?

You know what a house like that of Mr. BOWDLER's would cost?

A.-Probably $7,000 or $8,000.

Q.-Well would there be any probability of a man realising such a sum as that out

of the Tai-tam Works?

A.-Undoubtedly.

Q.-Do

Do you think it would be worth a man's while to make a present of $8,000 for the chance of getting any works whatever in this island?

A.-I cannot tell you. It is merely hearsay. The man told me spontaneously. I was walking up to the Peak with him to Mr. DENNYS's house. I said "Who built Mr. BOWDLER's house? He said "Tsang Aking." I said "What did it cost?" He said "Nothing." I said "What do you mean?" He said "He have cumshaw it, because he promise plenty work that Tai-tam Works."

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Would you give us the name of the person who told you?

A.-LAI AYOw.-I don't think he does Government work.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Have you come across any other information of that sort ?

A.-Well, in the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank works there is a water supply tap. One day I noticed it had never been cut off. When you pull down a house the Govern- ment cut off the supply. I said to the Contractor. "Why is this?" He said, "Oh, gave Mr. Rose $100 and he has not cut it off." The water supply is there now, to this day.

I

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-The Contractor wanted the water?

A. He wanted the water of course,

Q. And it ought not to be there?

A.-Well, the Government always cut it off in an empty house.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-What is the name of that man?

A.—The same LAI Arow, partner with TAI YIK, the Hongkong Bank Contractor.

Q.-Is there anything else of the same kind you can tell us?

A.-No, I don't think I know of anything else.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You know pretty well what the Government system of

tenders is. Do you see anything to object to in it?

A.-No, I think not.

( 102 )

Q.-They have some 15 or 16 usual Contractors and they appear not as a rule to go beyond them. Do you think they might with advantage go beyond them and ad- vertise in the Chinese papers? Would they obtain any advantage by that?

A.-I don't think they would. I think 15 or 16 are enough.

Q.-You have told us what you think about the price of Government work?

A. Yes.

Q.-And you think there is wholesome competition?

A. Yes, except perhaps in stone work. I think they give their stone work

nearly all to one man.

Q. Who is that?

A.-I think his name is APAT.

Q.-You think they confine their works possibly rather too much to him?

A.-I think so.

Q.-Is not their work put out to tender?

A.-But such work as drains; he does it all.

Q.-Any small jobs?

A. Yes. I expect perhaps they do it on purpose to keep all these things in their hands. I don't think they put out all their masonry to tenders.

Q.-We have heard a great deal about the measuring of work. I suppose there is a great deal of room for fraud there?

A.-Oh, tremendous, because I am quite sure if you tell an Overseer in the service here to measure up stone or brick work, if the Chinese Contractor were to offer him a

bribe he would take it.

Q.-

.—What system would you recommend that the Government should adopt in

order to check that?

A. You can only change the class of men.

Q.-Is it the same in private work?

A.--In private work we do all that ourselves, because the men we have are not capable of doing it.

-Hon. A. LISTER.-Is that man LAI AYow building the Bank premises?

A. Yes.

Q.--We are told he won't come near the Government Offices. What is the reason of that?

A.-I don't know. I have heard him say the same thing, that he did not want Government work. I don't know why; he has never told me.

+

( 103 )

Q. While you are on the story of the water, there is a well in these premises, is there not?

A.-No.

Q.

.—Was there not a well in the Chartered Mercantile Bank premises?

A. Yes, now you speak of it there was. I don't know what has become of it. I suppose it has dried up. It was there when I went home and when I came back it

was gone.

Hon. A. LISTER.-I only asked because $100 would go a long way in paying water coolies, and while there is a well on the premises I don't see why he should pay $100.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-The water is still on?

A. Yes.

Q.-And it was Mr. Rose's duty to cut it off?

A. Yes.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-You know nothing then, of your own knowledge, of bribery?

A.-Nothing beyond what I have told you.

The Commission adjourns.

TENTH MEETING.

19th January, 1884.

Present:-Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

99

A. LISTER, Treasurer.

Absent:-Honourable F. B. JOHNSON.

Mr. PALMER is examined,-

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-You are an architect I believe Mr. PALMER?

A. Yes.

Q. -We should like to have your opinion, please, about the relative prices of Government Works and those carried out by your firm.

A.- -Well, there is no doubt that it is cheaper with us, but the reason of it is that the work is not so good, that is, of course, the Government have facilities for getting good work which we have not, and the Contractor would naturally, in taking Government work, make an allowance for that, when the chances were he would have to put in better work, because there would be a man standing over him the whole time, whereas in private practice there might not be.

( 104 )

Q.-I infer from what you say the supervision is better in Government Work?

A.-Undoubtedly.

-An Officer of Engineers told us the trained Sergeants of Engineers supervise work much better than the men the Government pick up here, but I infer the Overseers of private firms are still worse, that there are three grades :-(1) the trained Sergeants, (2) the Overseers employed by Government who are not so good, and (3) the Overseers of private firms, who are worse still.

A.-The Overseers we employ would not be worth ten cents at home. We ought to have a mechanic who understands, but here I have never seen one. We get, if we can, an intelligent man to carry out our instructions. Beyond that he knows nothing about the work. We say "Take that wall down" and he sees it done, because we can- not stand there all the time. At home of course the idea of a clerk of works is to re- present the architect. He should know almost as much about it as his principal.

Q.

--Then taking work for work you don't think Government Work is dearer?

A.-No; I should say they get good material, and there should be always a man looking over it; they should get better work than a private individual, and as a rule no doubt it is so.

Q.-Has it struck you the Government work is too good, needlessly fine?

A.—I should say you could not make it too good. If the Government build they want a good thing, while with private individuals it is just the opposite-they want it cheap; they want it good of course, but cheap; money is always the great thing.

Q.-Then do you

in most cases?

find yourselves practically shut up to accepting the lowest tender

A. Very often. Unless we know the man is a thorough scamp we take the lowest unless a better man will come down to the same.

Q.-But are there men such scamps that their tenders would not be accepted?

A.-—Yes; if we have had anything to do with them and they have turned out so bad that we could not trust them, we say "We will have nothing to do with you.”

Q.-You advise your clients not to employ them?

A. Yes.

Q.-But I suppose a certain amount of pressure is kept up to get a lower tender?

A. Yes, a person would very often like an inferior man to give a lower tender so as to get a better man to come down.

Q. Do you suppose your Overseers are bribed by the Contractors?

A.-I have no doubt they are to a certain extent.

1

?

-They have opportunities?

( 105 )

A. They are supposed to report anything to us that does not go right. These are very poor men; a dollar or a dollar or two would influence them very considerably.

may

Q.—I am told that private architects here have a good many presents offered them,

I ask if that is correct?

A.-Well, as far as presents go, that is at Christmas time, they send you turkeys and little things of no value, which is, I suppose, a kind of compliment, but it is so small at the same time that you could not look at it in the form of a bribe.

Q.—I was told there were more valuable presents than that. Any private architect

who chose could take them.

A.-I have no doubt if you liked you could; there would be opportunities of squeezing to any extent.

Q.-Have you ever known any case of such presents being offered?

A.-No; personally I have never heard of them attempting to offer anything.

Q.-You know, of course, there has been an immense amount of talk about bribery in the Public Works Department. Do you know anything about that yourself?

A.-No, nothing myself. I have heard it rumoured outside, but rumours of course get about.

Q.-Could you point us to any of the sources of these rumour?

A.-No, I don't even know any of the sources, I suppose they come from Contractors in some way or other.

Q.-Then I think I will only ask you one other question. When the two Banks were pulled down which are now being re-built into one, the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, there were I believe three stand pipes for the delivery of water.

A.-There were three I think, I won't be certain whether there were three or two.

-Were any of these cut off?

A.-Not that I know of.

·

Q.-At any rate I suppose I am correct in saying there is one stand pipe still open delivering water?

A.-It was yesterday at any rate.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Did you ever hear it said with reference to any individual member of the Public Works Department that he was suspected to have made money improperly?

A.--I don't know that I have. I have heard remarks on this kind of thing, but I have looked on them as being more for the sake of saying something. Every one is open to this kind of thing, especially from certain men.

Q.-Have you heard any individual

( 106 )

say anything of that kind?

A.—No; I have heard it repeated, but I have never heard it directly stated as a fact or by any man who would know anything about it.

Q. What we want to get at is the names of any of the people who even repeat this sort of thing. If we get their names we could ask them where they heard it.

A.—If Mr. BIRD has heard any particular thing he has probably told it to me, but I have never heard anything else. For myself I should have very little belief in any of these reports. I think the subordinates have great opportunities. The Chinese as a race think nothing of it at all.

--It is part of their way of doing business?

A. Yes, and they think it quite right. If any man is inclined to be dishonest he has opportunities.

Q. Hon. A. LISTER.-There is one question I would ask you. It has been sug- gested as a means of stopping this at its source as much as possible, that instead of allowing these Overseers to measure work an independent measuring officer should be attached to the department who would have nothing else to do, or very little else, than to go about and measure the work done, and supply the Chinese with a printed form which would serve them as the basis of their bill if not as the bill itself, so that the Over-

seer should have nothing to do with the measuring or verification of the work in any way.

A.-I should say that would be a very good thing indeed. with the opportunity for corruption to a great extent. It is work you rior man to do, but you cannot expect it from the Overseer.

-What do you think he should be paid?

It would do away could get a supe-

A.--I should think you could get a man out from home for $200 or $250.

Q. Without quarters or anything else?

A.—I should allow him his chair. I should think you could get a well educated Overseer for that.

Q.-For $250 a month and chair allowance?

A. Yes.

Mr. BOWDLER is recalled,-

The CHAIRMAN. We asked you to attend merely for this purpose. What we asked you to supply us with was a statement of the passages and paragraphs of which the Department complain.

Mr. BOWDLER.-I have not got the papers.

The CHAIRMAN.-We don't want to enter into any correspondence at all on the subject of newspapers. We simply want you to comply with our request.

Mr. BOWDLER.-How can I do it?

( 107 )

The CHAIRMAN.-We leave that to you.

Mr. BOWDLER.-Then I must apply to the Colonial Secretary.

The CHAIRMAN.-Well.

Mr. BOWDLER. I cannot do so because I have not got the papers at my disposal; they are not in the office.

The CHAIRMAN.—Quite so. You will take your own way of obtaining the in- formation, but we shall be much obliged if you will do so.

in

Mr. BOWDLER.-But I have not got the papers.

The CHAIRMAN.--We are quite aware of that.

Major MULLOY is examined,-

-Hon. A. LISTER.-You are a Major of the Royal Engineers, I believe?

A. Yes.

Q. How long have you been in Hongkong?

A.-Nearly three years.

Q.-Have you been connected with any Civil works in Hongkong during that time?

A.-No.

-Nor had any interest in the working of the Public Works Department?

A.-No, no interest. Of course I know a little about it, but not much.

Q. What would

time here?

your

you say is the largest work the Royal Engineers have carried out

A. The largest work begun and completed in my time I should say is the

Sanitarium.

-In setting about a work of that kind you always call for tenders, I believe?

A. Yes, for a large work of that kind.

Q. Do you necessarily accept the lowest tender?

A.-Not necessarily, but almost always; we must give good reasons for not doing so.

-What would the reasons be?

A.-Well, that is always a very difficult thing. For instance, the known bank- ruptcy or incompetency of a man would be a good reason, but you have to be very cautious before you assert that. It would not be right to do it except on very good grounds. Your mere suspicion or doubt would not be enough.

+

( 108 )

Q.-Still you would avoid a man whom you thought was going to bankrupt?

A. Yes.

-Does it often happen you have to avoid the lowest tender?

A.-No, rarely. I don't think I can remember a case in which we have had to avoid the lowest tender. I have known of one or two cases in which I only just escaped it by a very close margin.

Q.-How many tenders do you generally get for the work?

A.-I cannot remember how many we got for the Sanitarium. I should think five would be about the average.

Q.-And would these five, in different works be pretty much confined to the same little set of men?

A. Yes. I could name four or five men I should expect to tender for any work.

Q.-Would you name those men?

A.-I am speaking from limited experience. One man is ATING. He is now the Contractor for the Engineers and is the successor to HING KEE and PANG YIK. Another

man is Yow ACHING, then YEE KEE, and ATAN. I cannot remember any other name. One does not carry these names in one's head.

Q.—Of these, all but the first are Government Contractors. You have looked, I suppose at the Government works, that is, you have noticed them?

A. Yes. I have, in a passing.

Q. How does the general style of work compare with that carried on by the Royal Engineers?

A.-I think it is very good.

Q.-Have you ever had any opportunity of noticing the prices paid?

A.-No; I know nothing of that.

Q. What supervision have you with regard to the works carried on by the Royal Engineers?

A.-First of all there is the Superintending Engineer, who has charge of the whole district; then it is divided amongst the Officers junior to him, myself and brother Officers, and under us there are military foreman of works.

Q. How many of these military foremen are there?

A.-At present there are four.

Q.-Mr. FLEMING told us yesterday that these military foremen (Sergeants he called them) regard their position as being worth £400 a year here, that is to say that all the advantages they get are worth what £400 a year paid down to them in this Colony would be. Would you say that statement is correct?

( 109 )

A.-As it happens I have nothing whatever to do with the pay and allowances. It seems a large sum certainly.

Q.-£400 a year might be taken as about equivalent to $180 a month. Do you think they get what is worth that, taking pension and everything into consideration?

A.-I am not ready to answer that.

Q.-But still you would say they are well paid?

A. Yes, I should say they are well paid. They have a very good position. They have good quarters. I should say they are well paid, decidedly.

Q.-Those

-Those are trained men, I believe?

A. Yes. First of all they are skilled men from the sappers, from the recruits, and then they go through a regular school at home, and of course they acquire experience.

Q.--Then I should suppose these men are really very valuable assistants ?

A.-Very.

Q.—This was a question Mr. FLEMING said he would rather not answer: Do you think it is ever made worth the while of these men, by Chinese, not to look after the work too particularly to see the orders are not too scrupulously carried out?

A.-No, I don't think so. They superintend directly, but at the same time it is my duty to see the work is properly carried out, and I should say the foremen are decidedly strict. From what I see of them-of course I don't know, but I don't think they gain much by bribery or otherwise: There is a great check on them.

Q.-Any neglect would be very soon discovered?

A. Yes.

Q.-Then would you say they have very little opportunity of being dishonest?

-

A. They have plenty of opportunity in a small way, because when works are going on, a great deal must go on that is not immediately under one's eye. They have opportunity undoubtedly.

Q.-I presume any one of these foremen could make himself very unpleasant to a Contractor?,

A. Certainly.

Q.-So it is worth the Contractor's while to be on good terms with him?

A.-Certainly.

Q.-And do you think you would detect any presents given for that purpose?

A.-I think one would detect it. You would see the man had a bias in favour of

the Contractor, and you would suspect there was something wrong.

( 110 )

Q.-You have had no reason to suspect anything of that kind?

A. No, I have not.

Q. Are these foremen allowed to measure work?

A. Yes.

Q.-They do measure?

A.—Yes, the measurement is left largely in their hands.

Q. Do you consider they are competent to measure?

A.-Yes.

Q. Do you consider that measuring gives them an opportunity to favour the Contractor?

A.-Not to any extent that is worth while, because our system of carrying out work is very strict. First of all the work is carefully detailed, and everything that is necessary is put down as far as can be seen in the detail; then it is ordered accordingly, and if there is the slightest deviation from that it must be supported by a written authority from the Division Officer, who, in my case, would be myself. Then as I notice the work going on, if I see it deviating I inquire the reason and approve or disapprove as the case may be.

Q.-Then you mean that the resulting measurements ought to correspond with the estimated measurements?

A.—Yes; if it differed by more than a very slight quantity one's notice would be at once attracted. They have a very small opportunity for doing anything of that kind.

Q.-Mr. FLEMING told us, however, that it was chiefly his business to do all the

measuring.

A. Yes, in large works he does measure; he either measures personally or accompanies the foreman of works when he is measuring. If Mr. FLEMING was not there to do it I should do it myself.

Q.-Then the idea seems to be not to leave any important measurement in the hands

of the foreman?

A.-That is the idea, but under stress of circumstances sometimes that cannot quite be carried out.

Q.-Then the practical working would seem to be that while the foreman measures small things, in larger the superior officer is responsible?

A.-The superior officer is responsible always.

Q.-Does the foreman give the Contractor any assistance in making out his bill?

A.-Here we do; in fact we do it in self-preservation, because we would never get the work through otherwise, but strictly speaking we should not. It is the Contractor's business to make out the bill, and it is a favour we are doing him in assisting him to do it.

+

$

1

( 111 )

Q. Are you aware of foremen ever getting gratuities for assisting the Contractors

to make out their bills?

A.-No, I am not.

Q.-But it is a recognised thing that they have to assist the Contractor in making out his bills?.

A. Well, it is a known thing. We do it simply to get the work through, but strictly speaking it is the Contractor's business, and our Contractor employs an English speaking Portuguese clerk for the purpose; in fact, the Contractor does assist in making out the bills, and the foreman only assists, he does not make them out for him.

occur,

Q.-Have you had any cases of clerks or others taking presents from Contractors?

A.--Of course in a large department like ours, all over the world, such things do

but I have heard of none here. I have no reason to believe it. No doubt there

are opportunities. The first Christmas I was here I had a lot of presents sent to me, and I had a lot of trouble in writing letters to return them; the second year not so many, and this year none.

Q.-Were they trifling presents?

A.-Some of them were rather valuable.

-Will you tell us what they were?

A.-One was a diamond scarf ring, a pair of bronze and silver vases, a set of bronze cups, two or three crape shawls, and hams and boxes of cigars.

Q.-Any champagne, might I ask, because that seems to be a favourite article?

A.-No. There were cakes.

Q.-The cakes and hams seem to be recognised Christmas presents, but we have had more difficulty in getting any one to admit anything more valuable. Then you think an officer who has shown himself willing to take valuable presents might have large offers of that kind?

A.---Oh, yes; that is to say, I was astonished that such large offers were made; in fact I thought they were hardly bona fide. I thought they would not have sent such presents if they had not thought they would be returned. Colonel PAPILLON told me they did the same thing to him.

Q.-You thought their idea was they would be returned?

A.-It seemed to me the presents were so valuable, worth $50 or so,

I should say.

I thought they had a strong idea they would come back to them or they would hardly

have sent them.

Q.-I doubt that. I fancy they were intended to be kept.

A.-I mean to say if they thought they would have been kept they perhaps would not have sent quite so much.

( 112 )

Hon. A. LISTER.-I don't know, because had they been kept they would think the advantage to them would ultimately have been greater.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Is the system universal in the Royal Engineers of having an Officer who looks round and I suppose from time to time sees the work is being pro- perly carried out; then a man who actually supervises the work being carried out, a foreman of works; and then a man like Mr. FLEMING who is a check on him as to quantity and quality of works?

A. Yes, the Surveyor is really an assessor; he is not a divisional officer.

Q.-I see; he is a sort of man who comes from outside, unconnected with the work,

a sort of auditor?

A. Yes.

Q.-Is that the universal system?

A. Yes, that is the universal system. It is found necessary to carry out the work, because there is a great deal of labour in making out the bills. Measuring the work is an operation that takes time; in the meantime work is constantly going on, and the Surveyor is available, amongst other duties, to measure these large works and check

the bills.

Q.-And he is available for other purposes as well?

A. Yes.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-I think Mr. FLEMING told us some large sums of money had been realised somewhere by a man writing entries into bills after they had been passed.

Have.

Have you known of a case of that kind?

A. Yes, that was done soon after I joined, I think about the year 1860, the only. case I know of.

Q.-Where was this?

A.—In Ireland, I hardly remember how it was effected, but I think after the Com- manding Engineer had signed the bill the amounts in it were altered. Now no erasure is allowed. If it becomes necessary to make an alteration the bill must be remade.

Q.-Then are you dependent for the correctness of the amount paid on the accuracy of that one piece of paper?

A.-No, because it is checked by all the measurements given in. That one piece of paper is the mere outcome of a long series of measurements which all check each

other.

Q. What I mean is this: Has the Paymaster any idea of what he is to be called upon to pay, or is this bill simply presented to him, and it may be for $1,500 or $15,000?

T

( 113 )

A. He has to a certain extent an idea, because at home-and I think we do it here --every month we send in a statement of the probable amount of money we shall require so that he may provide it, so that if any bills came in largely differing from that he would naturally ask whether there was any reason for it; and further than that all our works are done under authority from home. We get the authority for so much money, and the Paymaster is informed of this. A bill comes in for such and such an item, so many pounds, and he will see then that they are not exceeding the grant authorised, and so long as we are not exceeding the authorised grant the probability that there is any swindling going on is

very small.

-The CHAIRMAN.-Who decides on the tenders?

A.-There is a tender box with two keys, one of which is kept by the Commanding Engineer I think, or a Commissariat Officer, I am not sure which, and another in the Brigade Office. On an appointed day an Audit Board is sent to open the box. Then they send to get the keys. The Commissariat Officer is always on the board as the representative of the Secretary of State for War; he has the other key and the box is opened. The tenders are taken out and examined; they are numbered and initialed by each member of the board. It is noted in a form, No. 1, so and so, and so much, and so and so. Perhaps No. 2 is the lowest; then the board say. "We recommend No. 2, being the lowest," unless there is very strong ground for objecting.

Q-You recommend; who decides?

A.-Take the case of the Engineers. We refer to the Commanding Engineer. He, unless he has some very strong reason, must accept the lowest tender.

-But if there is a reason?

A. Then he would refer it to the highest authority available; at home to the Secretary of State; here to the General.

Q. And would the General take it on himself to decide that?

A.-I should think he would.

-And it is he who decides?

A.—If

A. If necessary. If we accepted the lowest tender it would not be referred to the General.

Q. How much work can be carried on before a man is required to pull it down, suppose it is bad? I believe you have a provision, the work must be found good and to the satisfaction of some one; if an Officer finds it bad he can order it to be pulled down. Take the case of the building of a wall, or the laying of a drain, or the building of bank, how many days' work can go on before that is done?

A.-Well, the supervision is daily. Generally speaking I do see the works every day, but not in all cases.

( 114 )

-But the Contractor is not liable to have a week's work pulled down?

A.—I cannot say exactly. It is hardly possible work should be so bad. It is a thing constantly happening that a little has to be pulled down. I go to the works and find the foreman has been there before me and ordered a lot to be pulled down. Well, supposing he overlooked it, and I overlooked it, and some one else came.

I don't know;

there is no limit.

Q.-But practically no one would come after you?

A.-Practically, no.

Q.-I suppose the Contractors are paid in instalments?

{

A. If the work is a large one the system is this: A period, usually three months, is fixed, and there is a reserve fund of 25 per cent. kept back for that time and then he gets it. Up to that time we pay him by monthly instalments for two-thirds of the value of the work done after the 25 per cent has accumulated.

Q.-Have you ever heard anything said against the honesty and integrity of the Public Works Department?

A.—No, I have not. Of course I have heard they were criticised, and generally by people who don't know anything about it, but I have never heard anything against the honesty of the department. At the same time I have not been much in the way of hearing that. If there was anything very flagrant I probably should have heard of it.

The Commission adjourns.

ELEVENTH MEETING.

23rd January, 1884.

Present: The Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

""

A. LISTER, Treasurer.

""

F. B. JOHNSON.

Mr. R. K. LEIGH is examined,-

Q.--Hon. A. LISTER.--You are an Architect in private practice here, I believe?

A.--I am a Civil Engineer.

Q.-You were in the Public Works Department?

A.--Yes, for three years.

Q.-What was your special duty there?

A.-I had all the land surveys in connection with sales of land, and the preparation of drawings for work. Causeway Bay Break-water was under my charge, the wall over at Kowloon, and several engineering works.

(

( 115 )

Q. -I suppose, having been three years in the department, you are pretty well acquainted with its working?

A.-Yes.

Q.--We have gone very carefully into the question of contracts, the way that work is assigned to various Contractors, the way that the results are ascertained, and pay- ments made. Is there any improvement you could suggest on the existing system?

A.—That is a very hard question. I think calling for tenders is unquestionably the fairest way of beginning-prepare the plans and specifications and everything exactly; so that every man tenders on the same basis, and I think it is the fairest plan for the Government to accept the lowest tender, if the tenderer is a good man.

Q.-But would you advocate the acceptance of the lowest tender under any circum-

stances?

A.-No, decidedly not.

Q.-Will you tell us your reason for that?

A. We often have a man tender for work in our business to whom I should not

dream of giving a contract, not knowing his financial position, or the work he executes, or for other reasons; that is to say, his tender would appear, but I should advise my clients not to accept it for certain reasons.

.—I suppose, then, there are men out of whom you cannot get good work?

A.-Unquestionably.

2.—Do you think the system of advertising for tenders and accepting the lowest safe tender is fairly carried out?

A. Yes. There is one practice that used to go rather against the grain, that is, it is the custom to take Contractors in a body to view the works and explain to them through an Interpreter what the work is and how it has to be done. Say you have five of them; if you take them in a body it leaves it open to them to make an arrangement between themselves. It would entail more work to take them singly, but I question the advisability of taking them in a body.

Q.-Knowing, as you must know, the number of men here who are able and in a position to contract for Government work, do you think the Government gets fairly the best of the labour market, the best of the Contractors?

A. Yes. I think that with perhaps one or two exceptions the very best Con- tractors in the Colony tender for Government work.

Q.-There are one or two Contractors who do not do Government work?

A. Yes, who decline to tender at all.

'Q.-Will

you name them?

A. There is TAI YIK, the Contractor for the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, one

of the wealthiest and best Contractors in the Colony.

( 116 )

}

Q.-Any one else?

A.-There are others who will only tender for certain classes of work, but that of course is quite right. I find the same thing. Very often good Contractors are willing to tender for us one month and decline to do so the next month. They may be full. One of the men who declines is ATAN, late Contractor for the Royal Engineers, but he declines every one in the same way. If he wants a job he comes and asks you for it if he is full he says. "No, thank you, I won't tender for that,"

Q.-Will you tell us why these men won't tender?

the reason. I think he has

A. TAI YIK is the only man. I can hardly tell you the reason. got such a good outside business he does not care to.

;

Q.-Then with regard to the selection of Contractors for work that is not to be put up to tender, do you think they are selected fairly?

A. Yes, I think so.

Q.--Then as to the execution of the work under the eyes of the Overseer, is there any improvement you could suggest in that?

A.-No; I think all work should be carried out under the superintendence of an Overseer. That is the practice we adopt. I don't think you can improve upon that as regards the supervision.

Q.-There is, however, a suggestion which everybody has made, that the Overseer should have nothing to do with the measuring. Do you agree with that?

A. My idea is that an Overseer should not even know the amount of the contract, the amount paid on it, the amount of any certificate, or anything to do with the money、 We have six Europeans, and there is not one of them who knows anything about the money whatever. That takes away one half of their power with the Contractor.

Q.-During the time you were in the department, had you any reason to suspect

the Overseers took bribes?

A.-I cannot give an instance in which I know of it.

-But had you any reason to suspect anything of the sort was going on? A.-I have no evidence to base any suspicion upon.

-Have you a general impression of that kind?

A.-I think it was done, more so before my time than in my time. Of course I only think so.

-You think it has been worse?

A.-It has been worse certainly, I should imagine.

Q.--Did you notice any

any of the Overseers living above their means, or being flush of money, or anything of that kind?

A.-I don't know anything about that,

J

}

(117)

Q.-Did any instance come under

your

notice of delay in payment for works?

A. Yes, certainly.

Q.-Could you name any work the payment for which was delayed?

A. I remember a Commission that sat in which I gave evidence before Captain THOMSETT. I forget who the other one was. Evidence was then taken about the delay in connection with a number of bills that were held over for a long time.

Q.-That was during Mr. PRICE's absence, I think?

A.-Yes.

Q.-What was the reason these bills were held over?

A.-I cannot tell.

-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Were there more than two bills held over at that time?

A.-Certainly.

-More than two specific cases?

A.-I cannot say exactly what bills there were. I remember a whole pile of bills. I don't know how many Contractors actually applied and raised the question. I don't know whether two came before the Commission. I certainly think more than two were delayed in payment.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-During your stay in the department how long were you under Mr. PRICE? How long was he actually here during that time?

A.-I think nearly a year.

Q.-Did these delays take place under Mr. PRICE's administration?

A.-Delays in payment have always taken place in the department, owing to the system of payment.

Q.-Do you know whether these delays are owing to the money not being voted, or is the money there if it can only be got?

A.-I expect both. Contracts have very much exceeded the vote, and therefore there has been a difficulty over the final settlement. That is how it has very often.

occurred.

Q.-To go on to the question of Architects and Engineers in private practice here, how do you consider your staff of Overseers compares with those employed by the Government ?

A. I don't think we have got nearly such good Overseers, taking them all round. We are dependent upon men we can get from time to time.

Q. How do you think Government work compares with private work?

A.-Government work is better.

( 118 )

Q.-Is it worth the money paid for it, taking the quality of the work into con sideration?

A.Within a few per cent, I should think. I think they do pay a little more than that same work could be done for by private firms.

Q.-But then you must take these delays into account, and that hitherto they haye always had a certain percentage of copper?

A. That has always been a sore point.

Q.-I believe it is a fact that private Architects here receive, or may receive, very considerable presents ?

A.-I don't; I have never received any. They are open to receive them if they like; they have plenty of chances.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You mean to say plenty of presents are offered ?

A.-No. I don't mean that plenty are offered, because the men soon find out. You get one or two opportunities of receiving presents, and then they don't try it on again.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER. You mean the Contractors find out very soon who will take presents and who not?

A.-Yes.

Q.-One gentleman told us no presents had been offered to him; another gentleman, in the Royal Engineers, told us very valuable presents had been offered to him. May I ask if presents have ever been offered to you in private practice?

A.-No.

Q.-Do

you know as a fact that private Architects do receive presents ?

A.-I should be sorry to think any private Architect would do such a thing.

Q.-Was any present ever offered to you in the Public Works Department?

A. Yes. I once had a chance.

Q.-Could you tell us about it?

A.-I don't see that it could do any good. I will say money was left anonymously for me in an envelope on my table.

-What was the amount ?

A.-It was a large amount.

Q.-I think you might tell us.

A.-$300.

Q. How did you get rid of it?

A.-I did not know who it came from, but I had a very shrewd guess. I had to keep it for two or three days.

( 119 )

4

¿

Q. And then?

A.-I found out sufficient to be able to return it.

Q.-I suppose we must not ask the name.

A. I should not like to give the Contractor's name.

Q.-It was a Contractor?

A. Yes, a Government Contractor.

Q. Could you give us any idea, if you have formed any, as to what was expected of you for these $300 if you had taken it?

A.-There was a good deal of work I was in charge of, and it was expected, I suppose, that I should overlook the class of work and that sort of thing, and that I should forward the Contractor's payments, get him the certificates.

Q.-Make things pleasant for him?

A. Yes.

Q.-You say

this was placed in an envelope on your table. I suppose the office boys, messengers, and so on, must have known perfectly well of its being there?

A. I should not think so. The Contractors were in and out of my room all day long, and when I was out they just put it down and left it there. That is the way I

found it.

-Do you suppose it had been lying on the table any length of time?

A.-No.

Q-I suppose the Chinaman would not have trusted it there very long.

A.--No, except that there were a number of chits always on my table and no one but himself would know there was anything valuable in this particular one.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-With reference to delayed payments, had you any reason to suspect payment was purposely delayed in order to squeeze the Contractors?

A.-No, I can only speak from hearsay.

Q.-But from your knowledge of the system do you think there was any good ground for suspecting payment was occasionally delayed in order to get a squeeze?

A.-Well, the only thing I can say is, it seemed to have become a custom that all the bills must be made out by a certain man, or they did not get put forward as quickly as they might.

Q.-Would you have any objection to name him?

A.-I would rather not. He was a Government Official.

Q.-Without giving the name could you indicate his position?

'A.-A clerk.

Q.-Pay clerk?

( 120 )

A.-No, not the

pay clerk.

Q.-With regard to the quality of the work. You have been in the Government service and are now a private Architect. What is your view of the work done by Gov- ernment and that done privately? Does the Government get as good value for what they pay as you do?

A.-I think not by a few per cent. As I said before, I think the Government has to pay a few per cent more. It is so more or less, I fancy, everywhere. I was in the Crown Agents' Office at home, and there it was always acknowledged. The Crown Agents have tried several times to be made into a Government Department, but · the Colonial Office have always objected on the ground that a Government Department could not work so economically as private firms.

Q.-You think the work is not so cheap, taking quality into consideration?

A.--No. I think that is partly due to the red tape, if I may say so, the form. A Contractor has a big contract in hand. We will say he does $2,000 worth of work, when he has done three weeks' work, he then has to send the bill in before the 20th of

the month, and he does not get paid for his first week's work until nearly a month after the time the work was done.

Q. Are you sure that is the system?

We have been looking into that.

A.-That was the system in my time. Nothing was paid between the 20th of one month and the 20th of the next. I am not speaking of a special work like that at Tai-tam; they have made special arrangements for that; but for ordinary work, if you send bills in on the 21st the Audit Office would not pass them.

Q.-Generally speaking, is the work superior to that of private Architects?

A. Yes; I think they pay for and get better work.

Q.-But still, taking work for work, it is not done so economically?

say.

A.—I think not. Private firms can oblige a Contractor better. A Contractor may come and

"I am very

hard up. I wish you could give me a payment on account." It is the usual custom to retain 20 per cent in hand. You are quite safe sometimes, if you know your man, to give him a part of that 20 per cent, which towards the end of a large contract amounts to a large sum. He may come to you and say, "I am hard up. I want to buy tiles or timber for the roof," and if we think fit we give it him. I don't think the Government do that. A firm has no object in coming and saying, "We think this Contractor ought to have another certificate given him.”

Q.-I don't understand you to say you think Government work is dearer because heavy bribes are given?

A.-No; I don't think heavy bribes are given in comparison with the work done, Still, a man with $60 a month— !

*

1

í

121)

-The CHAIRMAN.-Have you heard anything said about the corruption in the department-the talk going about the Colony?

A. Yes, I have heard talk.

Q.-Have you heard it generally said, or said by individuals, that they believed there was squeezing and so on?

A. Yes.

Q.-Can you mention the names of any of those parties?

A.-No, I think anybody I have heard it from would have it in hearsay them- selves. I don't wish to mention any names at all.

-You see if we could get to them we might be a step nearer.

way of tracing it back.

A.—Yes, but I would rather not give the names.

It is the only

Q.-From what you have heard, from hearsay only, could you suggest any direc- tion in which our inquiries could be pushed?

A.-I think if you could get them to speak the truth the Contractors would be the men, but I am afraid you could not get anything out of them. I know I have asked the Contractors with reference to Government work before, and they have told me a thing and laughed about it, and then if I mention it to them now, which I have done to one or two, and asked them if they would come up and give evidence, they say, “Oh, my no savvey."

Q.--Do you think there is any class of what you might call discontented, discarded Contractors in the Colony, that is to say, Contractors who have been told in fact there is no more Government work for them?

A-No, I think not.

-Because a class like that might be likely to talk.

A. Yes, they would be the most likely ones, but I don't know of any one.

-With reference to the price of Government work, we are told that one reason why it is more expensive is this, that with a private firm a Contractor has a chance sometimes of closing immediately. He says, "My tender is so much." A private firm

say, "Well, if you will take $2,000 less we will close with you now."

will

A.—Yes, that is almost systematically done.

-That cannot be done in Government work?

A.-I am afraid not. Of six tenders as they come in originally, I think it is very seldom the lowest figure is accepted. I think we can always knock something off that, and not uncommonly the tenderer who was not the lowest originally will come down sufficiently to be made the lowest. I have had cases in which, from the date of the

( 122 )

contract coming in, when I have known from my estimates they have tendered high, it has taken me a month or six weeks to get it to a proper figure. These fellows have been in day after day, and I have beaten them down $500 or $600.

.—Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-I suppose that is the same system as is adopted by the Government. They compare the tenders with the estimate, and if they are too high they don't accept them.

A.--Yes, but their estimate is based on the scale of the Royal Engineers. They base their estimate on a liberal scale. I think you will always find the Government tenders are below what they would work up to by schedule. It is not fair to take a big contract on schedule; it would be too high. A schedule is meant for odds and ends you cannot put in the specification, and for which you would naturally expect to pay a little more than if there was enough to ask a tender for. Basing their estimate on that, they get a high estimate for large contracts.

Q. Can you suggest any more efficient check than is placed on the department for stopping any bribery?

A. Yes.. I think you should adopt a system similar to that of the Royal Engineers, have a man in Mr. FLEMING's position, a qualified Surveyor, and let all moneys be paid on his certificate. I don't think a foreman ought to have anything to do with payment. The Surveyor General, or Assistant Surveyor General might constitute that man, and go round and visit all the works, because a man at a glance can see whether work is good or bad. There are things a man can cover up, or he may have saved a small quantity of lime, without your detecting it, but that is foreman's work.

You can generally tell whether work is good or bad from half-an-hour's supervision, and you can tell within $500 the amount of work done.

-That is the Overseer?

A.-No; that is a professional man like Mr. FLEMING, Mr. PRICE, or Mr. BOWDLER. No payment ought to be made except on the certificate of this man, and, if he is under the Surveyor General, the counter-signature of the Surveyor General. That is done to a certain extent. When I was in the department, for the Duddell Street work, and bits of Sea Wall, and the Causeway Bay Break-water, all certificates were granted by myself. On the Causeway Bay work I had no foreman for a time. The man who was there at first, who was worse than none, was dismissed. I used to visit the work two or three times a week, and as the work progressed I passed certificates for the amount of work I considered was done. On a job like that, where the contract was for $94,000, and every stone was under water at the commencement, I don't think men in the position of the Overseers of this department, who are simply educated by what they learn here in a few years, are in a position to say whether $5,000 or $10,000 worth of work

has been done.

Q-But I suppose in expensive works like that they have not exclusive control? A.-No; I think it is in small works, outstation work, and small road repairs that the Overseer has unquestionably the best opportunity, because there nobody is over him.

( 123 )

-And in that case the opportunity is offered for them to receive bribes?

A.-We will suppose a Contractor has to lay 4 inches of cement or lime concrete on a road. Unless you see it laid on yourself you cannot afterwards say whether there are 4 inches or 3 inches. You want to see it laid. If the Overseer allows him

to scamp 1 inch that amounts to 25 per cent on the contract.

any

Q.-

.—Then if as you suggest a Superior Officer should be appointed, would there be

work at all for these Overseers?

A. Yes, because they stand by and see the lime and stones and red earth mixed in proper proportions.

Q.-You think the shortcoming is where the Overseer, who is not a man qualified for the post, is entrusted with the signing of the certificate?

A. Yes; I don't think he ought to know anything about the contract or the money. That would be a great check on them. I have had no trouble with our Overseers as yet, though I have no doubt they do receive small bribes.

Q.-As you expressed it just now, to make things go easy?

A. Yes..

Q. Hon. A. LISTER.-When you were in the Public Works Department did you at all suspect anything was paid to anyone for making up bills?

A.-Oh, yes; it was an acknowledged thing almost.

Q.-An acknowledged thing?

A.-Well, I should think so.

Q.—Who got these payments?

A. You must know that, without my telling you the man's name.

Q.-Well, there is some suspicion about it, but I should like to know how far your observations coincide.

A.—The Chinese clerk in the Public Works Department.

Q.-In whose handwriting the bills are?

A. Yes. Many of our bills are in his handwriting now.

Q.-You say you get bills in his handwriting?

A. We have had them.

Q.-Do you know what the amount of payment is for doing this work?

A.-Contractors have always told us the usual thing is one per cent.

Q.-So that on $94,000, I think you said that was the amount of the contract for

the Break-water?

A. Yes, but the probability is he would not make out the bills for that, because then I came in and made out the certificates, so he would miss his chance. It is where

he makes out bills for extras and so on.

( 124 )

124)

Q.-Not on contract works?

A. Not so much.

Q.-Then they would be small bills?

A.-Yes, but in the year they amount to a good deal.

Q.-But individually they would be small; that is to say, they would not amount to more than $5,000?

A.—Some of the extra works on large contracts might amount to $2,000 or $3,000.

Mr. M. GUTIERREZ is examined,-

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-How long have you been in the Government service?

I joined in April, 1864.

A.-20 years.

Q.-Have you been in the Public Works Department all the time?

A. Yes.

—And what have your duties been all this time?

A.-To keep the accounts of all Public Works.

Q.-Then you are what is called an accountant?

A. Yes.

Q. What is your description in the Blue Book?

A.-Second clerk.

Q.-Who is the chief clerk?

A.-Mr. TOMLIN, and then Mr. SHEPHERD,

Q.-And who is now?

A.--There is no chief clerk now.

Q.-Then you are really acting as chief clerk?

A. Yes.

Q.-Will you tell us what are your duties as regards the payment of bills?. Cer- tain works are executed, and then the Contractors come to be paid. What have you got to do with that? How is it done?

A.-I must wait for an order from the Surveyor General before I can prepare an account, and when I get that order I send it into the office.

Q.-I suppose you mean the pay sheet?

A.-Yes.

( 125 )

Q.-But meantime there is a bill, is there not? The Contractor has brought a bill for what he has done?

A.-Sometimes the Surveyor General himself writes an order to pay the Con- tractor; sometimes the Contractor writes a sort of bill.

Q.-But suppose a man brings a bill. Now here is a bill for $11.29 brought by man of the name of CHAN WAI-KI.

A.-That is for measured work.

Q.—Well never mind. This bill is signed by Mr. BOWDLER?

A. Yes.

Q.-What happens to it then? Is it brought at once to you?

A.-It is brought to me.

Q.-As soon as it is signed?

A. That I cannot tell.

Q. When Mr. BOWDLER sees these bills, does he give them back to the Contractor. or does he keep them?

A.-I cannot tell.

Q.-Who brings them to you?

A. Sometimes they are bought by the office coolie.

Q.-Are they ever brought by the Contractors themselves?

A.-Never.

Q.-When a bill is brought to you do you conclude it is to go into that month's pay sheet-that it is to be put through for payment at once?

A. Yes, to be paid at once.

Q. Do you then see whether the money has been requisitioned for?

A. Yes, I must see that.

-That is part of your duty?

A. Yes.

Q-I suppose then you get bills sometimes for which no money has been requisitioned ?

A. Yes.

Q.-And what is done then?

A.-I make a supplementary requisition.

( 126 )

Q.-How long do bills ever remain in your hands without being paid?

A.-If it is sent before the proper time when these bills are to be paid I must wait till the day comes. For instance, we make a payment in the beginning of the month- for contract work, and on the 20th is the time for me to send the accounts to the Audit Office for the Audit Office to examine and pass them, so that all measured work may be paid for on the 25th.

Q.-Then do you mean to say every bill, as soon as it comes into your hands, is passed in at once for payment?

A.-Not these small bills?

Q.-These you keep till you get a number of them perhaps?

A. Yes.

Q.-What is the longest time a bill ever remains in your hands?

A.-If I got one, for instance, on the 1st of the month, I must wait until the proper

time to send these accounts in.

Q.-And that is when?

A.-On the 20th.

Q.-So that a bill might be in your hands three weeks?

A. Yes.

Q.--Not longer?

A.-No.

Q.-And it would then be paid on the 25th?

A.-Yes; unless I have received some special order for the bills to be paid at once.

Q.-Then do I understand you to say the longest delay you know of in the payment of any bill is three weeks?

A.--Yes.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-But suppose it came in on the 21st, that would be kept waiting a month?

A.-Yes.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Then you may say a month is the longest time?

A. Yes.

---When you make these supplementary requisitions, is authority to pay got at once? You get some bills in excess of the requisition. You make out a supplementary requisition. Do you get the Governor's signature at once without delay?

A.-That has always been the case.

127)

Q.-Well, there have been considerable complaints of the delay in the payment of bills in the Public Works Department. A Contractor told me this morning he had been kept waiting eight and nine months for payment, and sometimes he thought as much as

Do you know anything about that?

a year.

A.-I don't know. What accounts are these?

Q. -Does it take place in your office?

A.-No:

Q. Did you give evidence before a Commission which sat some two years ago to inquire as to the delay in paying bills?

A.—No, I did not; it was my predecessor, Mr. CHagas.

Q. Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-What is the difference between bills for contract work and those for measured work? What is the difference in your treatment of them?

A.-Contract work has to wait until a pay sheet is made up.

Q. What do you mean by a pay sheet?

A.-A contract always states a Contractor can receive so much on account.

Q.-Is this what you call a pay sheet? (produced)

A. Yes.

Q.-What is the difference between a pay sheet for contract work and one for measured work?

Q.-There is no difference.

-You drew a distinction just now.

Q.-

A. The contract work we have not to examine; in measured work we have to examine every bill signed.

Q.-But when you say examine, do you mean to say check it?

A. Yes.

Q.-But you cannot check the Contractor's account. You have no knowledge of the Contractor's work.

A.-No, but I must see the price and divide by so much a foot, so many feet.

Q.-Who gives you the information by which you can compare the estimate with

the result?

The CHAIRMAN.-He means that he checks the calculation.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.--Do you compare the prices with the schedule prices?

A.-No; that is the business of the person who orders the work.

128)

-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-What is it you do?

Witness takes a bill and explains that he checks the addition, &c.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.--But with contract bills it is a lump sum, there is no check- ing to do?

A.-No; simply to see in the book if the amount put down is due to the Contractor.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You say you send up to the Audit Office all bills that

come in before the 20th of the month?

it in?

A. Yes.

Q.-Have you ever had a bill in your possession over the pay day and not passed

A.-No.

Q.-Never?

A.-Never.

Q.-You say sometimes you get an order to pay money at once?

A. Yes.

Q.-Who gives you that order?

A. Sometimes the Surveyor General.

-And what is the class of work for which he gives such orders?

A. Sometimes contract work and sometimes measured work.

Q. -That is some special service?

A. Yes.

Q.-And the Surveyor General gives that order?

A. Yes.

Q.-Any other person than the Surveyor General?

A.-No.

Q.-Does it have any other signatures than the Surveyor General's?

A.-No. I take the Surveyor General's signature as my authority.

Q.

-Can you produce such an order to pay money?

A.-Sometimes it is a verbal order.

Q.-Has that been the rule or exception?

A.-It is the exception.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Can you, before we sit again, find us a bill that has been

put through in this special way before the 20th of the month?

A.-I cannot remember now; there are so many bills.

**

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129)

Q.-But cannot you find one in the Audit Office, some particular bill which has been put through in this special way?

A.-I must go to the office.

Hon. A. LISTER.-Then we will have it before we sit again, a bill that has been put through with special haste by Mr. PRICE's order.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You said also that sometimes the Surveyor General gives orders for payment without bills. Is that so?

A.- No.

Q.-What do you mean by money requisitioned for and not requisitioned for?

A. We send in monthly requisitions for money required for payment of work. We send it to the Treasurer, who forwards it to the Audit Office.

Q.-That is an estimate of the amount of money you are likely to want on the 20th?

A. Yes.

Q.-And if you have not requisitioned for particular bills, do these bills have to stand over, or do you make a special requisition?

A.-Sometimes we do not expect the work to be finished so quickly, and we don't put down the item. When the work is finished the Contractor demands payment, and then orders are sent to me and I have to prepare a supplementary requisition.

Q.- -How do you know all the bills that are to be sent to you before the 20th?

A. We know the work that has to be done.

in time?

Is there no possibility of delay because the Contractor has not sent the bill in

A. Yes.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-That was what puzzled me.

Hon. A. LISTER.--Before Governor HENNESSY came here the requisition was signed at the end of the month for the bills that had come in. It was not strictly regulation, but it was a very convenient practice, and if a Head of a Department had spent anything not authorised he was in the unpleasant position of having to pay it himself. Governor HENNESSY said, "This is monstrous. I am asked for money which has been already spent, and I have no option but to approve it." He consequently introduced a most vexatious system of requisitioning for money a month before you want it, and when you cannot possibly know what you will want; and so far from enforcing economy it enforces extravagance.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-But surely if you know all the bills you have to pay it won't take twenty-four hours to send in the requisition. If you pay on the 20th, Mr. GUTIERREZ knows it is $10,000 or $20,000 or 50,000 he wants.

What is the reason

for the delay?

( 130 )

Hon. A. LISTER.-That takes place in the Audit Office.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-If on the 20th Mr. GUTIERREZ is in possession of all the bills that are to be paid between that and the next 20th, it seems the requisition should be then

made.

Hon. A. LISTER.-No, the requisition is made before the 15th of the previous month, that is to say, on the 15th March you requisition for the money you think you will want in April.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-What do you requisition upon ?

Hon. A. LISTER.-Simply upon your estimate or guess.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Whom do you requisition?

Hon. A. LISTER.-The Treasurer.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Why cannot you requisition on the 20th, when you have to pay the money?

Hon. A. LISTER.-That was what I was telling you. It was put a stop to by Governor HENNESSY, who said "you must requisition a month before you want it,” and that drives an officer to requisition for a lot of money for fear he should run short.

The CHAIRMAN.-It strikes me Governor HENNESSY'S scheme is one extreme, and the one you speak of the other extreme, both objectionable. Mr. JOHNSON's suggestion is between the two, that the requisition should be sent in when you have seen by your

bills what the amount is.

Hon. A. LISTER.-Well, if the bills have not been paid the liability has been in- curred. I have not the slightest hesitation in saying the system of requisitioning a month before you want the money is a great obstacle to economy.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Is that in practice now?

Hon. A. LISTER.-Yes, and it is strictly according to the letter of the regulations, but the other system had grown up, and it was a more economical system than the

system we are going on now.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Suppose that on the 15th of this month there is a big con- tract going on, say a Break-water at Yau-ma Ti, for which the estimate is say, $120,000. Suppose on the 15th of this month there comes to you a bill countersigned by the Surveyor General in which the Contractor asks for an advance of $30,000. In 'an ordinary way will you have that $30,000 provided for in your requisition ?

A. We always ask for $10,000 only.

Q.-You would have $10,000 set aside for payment of advances?

A. Yes.

Q.-And suppose this was for $30,000?

A. We would have to make a supplementary requisition.

2

( 131 )

Q.-And you make that out on a form?

A. Yes.

Q.-To whom do you deliver it?

A.-I send it to the Surveyor General to send to the Treasury.

Q.-Does the requisition go through the Treasury to the Colonial Office? Do they approve of it?

A. Yes.

Q.-And then you are in the same position as if the requisition had been originally made ?

A. Yes.

Q.-How long does that take?

A.-Two or three days only.

Q-Do they ask for explanation, or do they take it on the signature of the Surveyor

General ?

A.-I don't remember.

Q-It is merely a formal thing?

A. Yes.

.—Well, when you get a bill, it may be for brick-work, or request for an advance on a contract, then you make out a pay sheet?

A. Yes.

-And that is in fact the request to the Audit Office?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you send this to the Audit Office?

A. Yes.

Q.-You do?

A. Yes, as soon as it is signed by. Mr. PRICE.

Q.-Does Mr. PRICE have to sign this before it goes to the Audit Office?

A. Yes, he signs the pay sheet.

Q.-When that bundle of bills goes to the Audit Office, what they do with it?

A.-That I cannot say.

Q. What is the object of sending it there?

A.-To see that the payment is correct, that the man is entitled to the money.

( 132 )

Q.-That is not supposed to be sufficient certificate for that?

A.-No, the Audit Office looks up the book.

Q.-But suppose it is for 20 feet of brick-work?

A. The Audit Office re-checks all the bills.

Q.-What is the object of that?

A.-That is the rule.

Q. What do they check?

A. The price and the amount.

Q.-How do they check the prices?

A.-By the schedule.

!

Q.-But has not that been done before, when Mr. PRICE signs it?

A.-Besides that they want to check it themselves.

Hon. A. LISTER.-The Audit Office checks everything-whether the money is provided for, whether the man is entitled to it, whether the amount is correct, and everything connected with it. It is their object to discover an objection if they can.

*20th.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Well, what do they do with it then?

A.-I don't know.

Q.-You have done your part of it?

A. Yes.

Q.-And how long does it take you?

A.Just the time to make up the addition.

-Then you can send them in the same day?

A. Yes.

Q.-Do you do so, or do

you

wait till the 20th ?

A.-Big bills I send up the moment I get them; small bills I must keep till the

Q.-Then what are these bills you said you receive a verbal order to pay at once?

A.-Bills for China New Year,-the Contractors'.

Q.-But big bills you say you always send in at once?

A. Yes.

Q.-But small ones you keep till the 20th?

A. Yes.

( 133 )

Q.--Do you mean you keep all bills where you have to pay by quantities to the end of the month? How do you draw the line?

A.-Where several have to go in one pay sheet. (Refers to a pay sheet).

Q.-Then you have to wait till all possible applications have come in?

A. Yes.

Q.-But suppose I was doing 10 feet of brick-work for which I was to be paid by the foot. When I have done I send in a bill. That is signed by Mr. PRICE and sent in to you, you have to examine it and see the totals are correct. Having done that what do you do with it?

A.-I keep it till the 20th to see if there are any more small bills.

Q.-That is to say a man who sends a bill in on the 21st would have to wait till the 19th of the following month?

A. Yes.

Q.-That is solely for the convenience of your department?

A. Yes.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-What is the limit in the amount of a bill that you keep till the 20th?

A.-There is no limit.

Q.-Why do you keep one bill and not another?

A.-It depends upon the items in the estimates the bills have to be charged to.

Q.-But cannot you tell us which bills you keep till the 20th ?

A.-All bills for measured work.

Q.-And only bills on account of contracts, in which you have nothing to check you send on?

A. Yes.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-And all the others remain ?

A. Yes.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-To-day is the 23rd, and I suppose you have passed a large number of bills to-day against China New Year?

A. Yes.

Q.-These are all special payments?

A. Yes.

Q.-Specially passed at this time?

A.--Yes.

( 134 )

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Will they be sent on at once?

A. Yes, they have been sent to the Audit Office to pass and pay at once before

China New Year.

-Hon. A. LISTER.-These are all contract works?

A.-Mostly contract works; we have passed some measurement works..

Hon. A. LISTER.-A bill can be passed for payment at any time, but it is more convenient to do it once a month, and that is the general system.

The CHAIRMAN.More convenient to the department?

Hon. A. LISTER.-More convenient to everyone. I will take the Post Office as an example. I let the bills accumulate for a month, and pass them all together through the Audit Office and Treasury, and get payment; but at the same time, if a man were leaving the Colony and wanted payment I could get it for him, but I should have to take a good deal of trouble about it, and give other people a good deal of trouble, whereas by doing it once a month the whole thing goes on in routine.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-But you see there is room in this system to fee some one to make things easy.

Hon. A. LISTER.-True; but what I want to get before the minds of the Commis- sion is this: The general rule is a monthly sheaf of bills. I fancy an exception has grown up in consequence of the great amount of bills sent in by the Public Works Department, and the urgency of passing bills at any time.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-That only applies to bills for measurement work, but in the case of an amount to be paid for contract work there is room to pay some one to get it passed.

Hon. A. LISTER.--Certainly. .

The CHAIRMAN.-With regard to the payment of bills monthly you said it was convenient for everyone. I can quite understand it is convenient to the officers of the departments, but not to the man who has to receive the money.

Hon. A. LISTER.-No, certainly not to him.

The CHAIRMAN.-You mean all the paying parties?

Hon. A. LISTER.-Yes.

The CHAIRMAN.-What I don't understand is why all the things that happen to a bill between the time it is made out and the time it is paid-why one thing cannot go on to another without delay.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Especially when the money is requisitioned for a month before. I cannot see why a bill cannot be sent in and be passed and paid at once.

( 135 )

Hon. A. LISTER.-Well, the Audit Office and Treasury would object in the same way as your washerman would object, if when he had got as far, say, as the ironing process, you came down on him with two or three articles forgotten, and insisted the whole thing should be commenced over again for these two or three articles.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-But pardon me. The bill is sent in for a specific amount of work. Why cannot that be passed at once when it is sent in, as would be the case in any mercantile firm? What is the object of putting a number of various accounts in one pay sheet and getting them paid en bloc?

Hon. A. LISTER.-It is very much more convenient. I will take the Post Office as an example. We always have our other duties going on, and naturally wish to give as little time to this departmental work as we can. We therefore wish to have this worry of paying bills as seldom as possible, and I should feel much annoyed if, just after I had sent my monthly sheaf of bills in to the Audit Office, any one were to come with his bill and insist on being paid at once. If it were a case of urgency I should do it.

Every

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Some bills may have to stand over for examination, but why as a general rule the practice cannot be as in a mercantile office I do not see. morning one of the first duties is to have bills sent in and examined, before the day is out they are initialed in the department to which they are applicable, and then they come before the Cashier for payment immediately.

Hon. A. LISTER.-Such a system might be devised, but speaking without having examined the question, I think it might open the door to irregularities we get rid of now, but it would be a matter for a Committee to go into and devise a better system.

Mr. GOULBOURN is examined,-

-Hon. A. LISTER.-What is your position in the Public Works Department?

A.-Clerk and storekeeper of the Tai-tam Water-works.

Q.-Have you nothing to do with anything but the Tai-tam Water-works?

A.-That is my position at present.

-Have you had any employment, any general employment?

A.-Previously to the time I was appointed clerk and storekeeper of the Tai-tam Works I was the corresponding or third clerk in the department, the same as Mr. CHAN

FUK now is.

-Had you then anything to do with bills or payments?

A.-Nothing whatever.

-But I see a good many bills in Mr. CHAN FUK's handwriting. Has he any- thing to do with these bills now?

A.-Not that I am aware of.

*last.

( 136 )

Q.-Here is a bill before me in his handwriting at this moment, dated 30th August

A.-That may possibly be so.

$

Q.-You never wrote out bills for Contractors, did

you ?

?

A.-Not at the time I was corresponding clerk, but I have since.

Q.-Do Contractors ever come and ask you as a favour to write out bills for them?

A. They do not.

Q.-Under what circumstances then do you write out bills?

A.-For the Government. The time is looked after by a time-keeper and, separate bills have to be made out for the various works for which the time is accounted for.

Q.-Why don't Contractors make out their bills?

A.-Because they are not allowed. It is my duty.

Q.-As to bills for general work, have you ever written out any of these?

A.-Oh, certainly; in many instances I have. For instance, a bill from LANE CRAWFORD's, or any other person. The bills they send in may contain a number of different items which have to be charged to various works, one which has to be charged to Works and Buildings; another, the Maintenance of Telegraphs; another Roads, Streets and Bridges, and a fresh bill has to be made out.

Q.-That is really to save Messrs. LANE, CRAWFORD & Co. the trouble of making

out a lot of bills?

you

A.-Exactly.

Q.-But I am speaking more particularly of bills for Chinese Contractors. Have under any circumstances made out bills for Chinese Contractors?

A.-Instances may have occurred in which I have done so.

Q.-A bill having got into a mess, for instance?

A. Yes, I have done that.

Q.-But you have not habitually written out bills?

A.-No; in fact, my time will not allow me.

Q.-Then as far as you know it is no part of CHAN FUK's duty to make out bills for Contractors?

A.-As far as I can see I don't see how it can touch him.

Q.-You take out money to Tai-tam to pay people there?

A.-I do, once or twice a month.

(

·

( 137 )

-In what shape has this money been given to you?

A.—Instances have taken place, one or twice, I am not sure, in which a cheque has

been given.

Q.-I suppose you cash the cheque and take the money?

A. Yes, I cash the cheque myself at the Bank.

Q.-But generally what do you get?

A.-Money.

Q.-In what form, notes?

A. Yes, generally notes.

Q.-Has copper ever been given you to take out to Tai-tam?

A.-Not once.

Q.—I don't mean odd cents, but any quantity of copper?

A.-No, not any.

Q.-Have you ever paid any person at Tai-tam in copper, or partially paid him?

A. Two or three or four cents, not more.

Q. Do you

know anything about a case in which payment was to be made to the Contractor ATAN of three or four hundred dollars? He was to get the money from -you, but he was late and you handed the notes back to Mr. CARVALHO, and he complains he received part in copper. Have you any recollection about that?

A.-Now you bring it to my memory, I remember an instance in which ATAN came to me on the subject of a certain payment, but I don't remember what the amount was.

Q.-Did he complain about copper?

A.-He did not made any complaint of that nature, I sent for him, informing him there was a payment ready on account of some works at Tai-tam. He came to my office and asked me if I had the money. I said "No, Mr. CARVALHO has it.' Then he left my office and I don't know anything more about it.

-Had any notes been given you in that case?

""

A.-Not in that case. In a former case I had given him a payment in notes.

Q.-Can you tell us anything as to how this information about letters got out- how Mr. FRASER-SMITH got possession of that letter of Mr. PRICE'S which was produced at the trial, and a whole string of which he had the numbers and dates?

ation.

A.—I have not the slightest idea how he could possibly have obtained that inform-

( 138 )

Q.-Somebody gave me a hint you could perhaps tell us something about it?

A.—I remember shortly after I was promoted from the Gaol Department into the Surveyor General's Office as corresponding clerk I thought it was very improper that an office of such importance as that I occupied, where there was so much correspondence, should be open for any of the members of the department, that others than those con- nected with the correspondence could be able to look at it. The correspondence was there on the table and during some mornings there would perhaps be nine or ten different people in the office.

Q. What sort of people?

A.-The Overseers, Contractors, and so on.

Q.-What room did you sit in?

A. The same room that CHAN FUK now sits in.

M4

Q.-That is a sort of ante-room to Mr. PRICE's office? ·

A. Yes.

Q. And everyone coming to see Mr. PRICE passes through that room?

A.-More or less. I think the cases are very exceptional in which anyone enters Mr. PRICE's office by the side door.

Q.-Then that room serves as a sort of waiting room for Overseers?

A. It does.

Q.--And there are generally four or five Overseers in it waiting?

A.-Some, particularly in the morning from ten to twelve or half-past.

you mean to say all the letter books are there?

Q. Do you mean to

A.-The letter books are not, but the précis sent out by Mr. PRICE are, and during the time these people are there you are engaged in copying the letters that pass between Mr. PRICE and the Colonial Secretary's Office.

Q. Where are the letter books kept?

A.-In the same room.

Q.-So that really these papers and letter books can be seen by any of these people?

A. They may be; there is nothing to prevent them.

Q. Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-How many are there of you in the correspondence office, or how many were there at the time this letter of Mr. PRICE's was written?

A.-Myself, Mr. KAM SHING-WONG, and LUM SHUN, three of us.

-Into whose hands would this letter pass ?

A.-My own.

4

7

-What did you do with it?

( 139 )

A.-As soon as Mr. PRICE sent it out to me I copied it out in the usual official form, and filed the draft, and sent the original upstairs to the Colonial Secretary's Office.

-You say the office is full of Overseers, but surely you don't permit men who are waiting about to read correspondence passing through the office at the time?

A. Certainly not.

Q.-Then how can it be seen by the Overseers?

A. There are many instances in which you are called away, especially as corres- ponding clerk.

Q.-But surely you shut your book. It would be the greatest carelessness to allow anyone to read your letter books.

A.-But they are not kept in letter books. They are sent out on half-sheets of foolscap and at the end of the year they are bound together.

Q.-But it would be almost incredible that this important letter should be read by anyone in the office, unless you mean to say Overseers are in the habit of reading all the letters that pass through.

A.-No, I don't mean to say they read a single letter.

-No, but the character of your replies to Mr. LISTER gives that impression,

because

you said in reply to the question how it could have been made public that the room was full of Overseers and other people waiting about, and the suggestion is that the letter was read then. My knowledge of an office in which copying goes on is that it is clearly impossible, except by dereliction of duty or carelessness on the part of the gentle- men in the office, that anyone can read your papers.

A.—I don't mean to say any particular Overseer did look at these papers, but there are times when you have to be absent from the office, and the papers are lying on your desk.

Q.--But do you mean to put this as a feasible suggestion, that one particular note could have been taken up by an Overseer and read if you had taken proper care of it in your office?

A.-You may be as careful as you possibly can be, and yet a letter like that may

be read.

Q.-You think it likely any one would go up to your desk and take up a letter

and read it?

A.-I don't mean to say the letter did get out in that way.

Q.-But that is your suggestion.

A.-I mean to say if any information was carried from the office that was the

medium.

( 140 )

Q.-Then all I have to say is, you and the others must have conducted ness very carelessly if letters are left about so that any one can read them.

A.-Letters are not habitually left.

your busi-

Q.-But they must be if that is the explanation, because it is inconceivable that anyone should read this particular letter unless strangers are in the habit of reading

letters.

A.-I know that on more than one occasion I did complain of the fact of these Overseers being allowed to wait in that room.

Q-How many letters pass through your department in a similar way to that

letter?

A.-In 1882, some fifteen or sixteen hundred.

Q.-That is five or six letters a day. I suppose your suspicion is that this letter was read accidentally, or is it that these five or six letters are generally read?

A.-No, they are not generally read, because during the time I was there I took the greatest care and tried to prevent their being read.

Q.-But there is no difficulty that I can see.

your desk and read a letter you have just left.

A.-Of course he would not.

Q.-Well, explain.

An Overseer would not go up to

A.-He may have read the letter during the time I was absent from the office, Mr. PRICE or Mr. BOWDLER will call me perhaps fifteen or twenty times a day.

Q.-But you say there are three persons in your office.

A. Yes.

Q. Can any stranger take a letter from your desk without either of the other, two being cognisant of it.

A.-It might be so.

Q. It is your practice then to leave letters open on your desk, to which strangers have access?

A.-If I was writing a letter when I went out it was always covered with my blotting pad.

Q. -The CHAIRMAN.-Where are the drafts filed in your office? Now you speak of a précis, is it a précis or a draft?

A-A draft.

Q.-After you have written it out is that submitted to Mr. PRICE for his signature?

A.-It is.

L

( 141 )

Q-Taken in by you?

A.-By me.

Q.-Do you take in the draft with it?

A.-No.

Q. Where do you leave the draft?

A.-It is placed in a letter clip.

Q.-Lying on your

A. Yes.

table?

Q.-Does Mr. PRICE sometimes send for the draft to compare

A. Yes.

Q.-And then is the draft returned to your keeping?

A. Yes, for filing.

Q.--Where do you keep it?

it.?

+

A. In a clip which is set aside for two purposes: one, all the Colonial Secretary's letters, and the other a précis of all the letters to the Colonial Secretary.

Q. Where do the Originals go?

A. To the Colonial Secretary with a book, and a précis only is kept.

Q.--Are these drafts from the Surveyor General kept along with, or in the same place as the Colonial Secretary's letters to the Surveyor General?

A.-Yes; one clip holds the Surveyor General's précis, and the other the Colonial Secretary's letters.

Where are these kept?

A.-On the left-hand side of my table, with a printed tablet on cartridge paper.

Q.-What time did you leave the office?

A. About half-past five.

Q.--When you left the office what did you do with that file?

A.-I generally put it on a shelf beside me.

Q.-With lock and key?

A.-No lock and key.

Q. Did you leave the office locked?

A.-I left it to be locked by the coolies.

L

( 142 )

-That was the routine of the office, that the office was left open, and that these drafts and précis were left open too?

A. Yes, in the manner I have told you.

-So that anybody who got access to the Surveyor General's office could read

the whole of them?

A.-If they felt so inclined I don't see what was to prevent them.

Q. Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-But there must have been time, I should say, to copy the letter, not only to gain the substance, because we heard from Mr. LISTER that Mr. FRASER-SMITH seemed to have a string of letters. That could not be obtained by an Overseer; it must have been by someone well acquainted with the details of your depart- ment. Don't you agree with me?

A.-I don't know what information he was possessed of.

Q.-He had a copy of this letter, and references to a series of letters. That could not have been arrived at by strangers looking over your desk.

A.-Hardly, I should think.

Q.-Have you ever had any communication with Mr. FRASER-SMITH on this subject?

A.-Never once.

Q.-We have heard it said that Chinese are in the habit of giving perquisites to officers in the department, and especially it has been brought to our notice that it is a common thing for them to give payment to Overseers who make out bills for them, that is to say, Overseers who measure work, and you have told us you have made out bills for Chinese. Have you ever had money offered to you?

A.-Not by any one since I have been in the department, not in one instance.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Under the circumstances you describe, is it not very likely a system would grow up that when Mr. PRICE wrote anything in a letter that was at all racy or amusing it would be handed round this waiting room, would be passed on as a joke from one to another?

A.-No.

Q.-That was never done in your time?

A.-No, by no means; in fact personally I was always very strict on the subject of this correspondence, and I was always as careful as I could be, as time would permit me in the office.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-It would be passed through no hands but yours until it got to the Colonial Secretary's Office?

A.-I am confident it did not pass through any one's hands but my own from the time it left Mr. PRICE'S hands until it was sent with the chit book to the Colonial Secretary's Office.

( 143 )

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.--Can you suggest any one who would look at the drafts and give that information to Mr. FRASER-SMITH; have you any reason to suspect any one?

A.-I have not.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Would the Chinese be able to read it?

A. Yes.

Q.-Would they take sufficient interest to laugh over this letter, which was rather severely written ?

A.-No, I am sure they would not.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.---At the time the letter was written who were the coolies.

A. The same four that are there at the present time.

The Commission adjourns.

TWELFTH MEETING.

25th January, 1884.

Present: The Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

A. LISTER, Treasurer.

""

F. B. JOHNSON.

""

TSANG KING is examined. He states he has been a Contractor for 9 years. He enumerates the principal works he has performed. At Tai-tam he built the wooden houses, sunk the shaft, and altogether had about $18,000 worth of work. He built Mr. BOWDLER's house, which cost $5,500 including $1,000 for foundations. He does not consider it was a particularly cheap house. He gave a receipt for the money and Mr. BOWDLER paid him by a cheque on the Oriental Bank. It is usual to give small presents at Christmas.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-How long have you had Government contracts?

A.-Nine years.

-You have always had Government work going on, I suppose?

A. Yes.

Q.--Do you ever do any work for the Royal Engineers?

A.-No. I have done a good deal of work for Mr. CHATER at Kowloon and at Lap-sap Wan.

Q.-Why do you not do work for the Royal Engineers?

A.-My time is filled up.

Sometimes I send in tenders but I have not had any

work from them.

( 144 )

Q. Which Overseers do

you know?

A.-I know them all.

you?

Q.--Have you ever told any one that any of these foremen had had money from

A.--No, they have not had money from me. I no savvey that pidgin. Suppose I have Government work, large or small, Government must send a good foreman to see that I do it according to the specification.

Q.--But did you ever say you had paid any man a big cumshaw?

A.-No; I no savvey that pidgin.

Q.--Have you ever given any?

A.-No.

Q.-Have you ever had to complain of your bills being delayed in payment?

A.-Sometimes I got the bills paid at once, sometimes in two or three days, and

sometimes a week.

Q.-Did you ever pay any one to help your bills through quickly.

A.-Never.

Q.--Did you ever pay any Overseers for making things comfortable for regard to your work?

you in.

A.-No. I carry out my contract according to regulations; why should I money to them?

pay

Q.-Do you know if some of the other Contractors have done so?

A.--No; I only care for my own business.

Q.-But you know something about their business?

A.--How do I know?

Q.--Well, you think?

A.—No. I have to attend to my work early in the morning, at 6 or 7 o'clock, and then at 7 o'clock at night I have to go to my office, where I have to look over my accounts, I cannot go to bed till 11 o'clock.

Q. Do you know Mr. LEIGH?

T

A: Yes. I do work for him now.

}

*

Q.-Did he ever look over work you were doing as Contractor while he was in the Government service?

A. While he was here I was doing work for the Government.

Q. Did you ever offer him a cumshaw?

A.-No.

1

F

( 145 )

Q.-Do

you

know Mr. FRASER-SMITH?

A.-I do not.

Q.

You have seen him?

A.--Never.

-You have seen his brother, Mr. STUART-SMITH, perhaps?

A.-Truly I have never seen him.

Q.-Have you ever told any one that you have paid any cumshaws to Overseers?

A.-Never, because I have never given any cumshaw.

Q.-Did you ever tell anyone that other people gave cumshaws?

A.-No. How could I know?

Q.-When you were building that house for Mr. BOWDLER were you doing Govern-

ment work under contract at the same time?

, A.-A little.

Q.-Was it the Break-water?

A.-I built Mr. BOWDLER's house before I built the Break-water.

.—But you have been doing Government work for 9 years, always had some work going on?

A. Yes. I have work every year.

Q.-Did you make a tender or estimate for this house?

A. A tender.

-What was the amount of your tender?

A.-$4,500.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Don't you add on 15 per cent. when you have to build a

house at the Peak?

A.-Yes; that is the custom.

Q.-Did this $4,500 include the 15 per cent?

A.-It included everything. The $4,500 was the sum I had to get.

Q.-You say that in tendering for Government Work at the Peak you add on 15 per cent, but in treating with a private party you can do what you like; but you know perfectly well that in building a house at the Peak, whether for Government or a private person, the bricks and lime have to be carried up, and therefore I suppose it costs you about 15 per cent more to build at the Peak than in the town. Is not that so?

A.-There is a difference of 15 per cent.

J

( 146 )

Q.--Well it was a very cheap house, taking off that 15

A. He supplied me with some materials.

Q. What materials did he supply you with?

per

cent?

A.-The fire places and some windows which he bought at auction.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.—Did you ever ask Mr. BOWDLER to be your friend in getting you work at Tai-tam?

A.-How can I say anything? Who says so?

Q.-I ask you whether you asked Mr. BowDLER to be your friend in getting you employment at Tai-tam?

A. I did not.

Q.-Did

you ever ask him to be your friend in getting you any Government Work?

A.-There was no necessity for my doing so, because all Government Works are done by tender. If I liked to take the work I could tender for it.

Q.—Hon. A. LISTER.--All these Contractors go about the town talking, and saying this to that man and that to another, and people hear it and say the foremen of the Government Works are getting presents, and yet when they come up here they won't tell us anything about it.

A.—I have never done such a thing.

Q-Have you ever been paid partly in copper?

A. Yes, on many occasions.

Q.-Do you get copper now?.

A.-Last Chinese year I was paid 10 per cent. in copper. During the first six months of this year I received 5, 4, or 3 per cent. During the last six months I have not been paid any copper.

Q.-But you always knew how much copper you would get, did you not?

A.--There is no certainty about it. The year before last I used to get 10 per cent in copper always, but last year I got sometimes 5 per cent., sometimes 4, and some- times 3 per cent. This I received some copper, year

but not very much.

Q.-Do I understand you to say that every year before the last you used to get 10 per cent always regularly; that last year you got 5, 4, and 3 per cent, but lately you have got very little?

A.-Last year sometimes I had to take 10 per cent, but this year very little.

Q.-You do not feel then you have been in any way ill used about this copper; you have no complaint to make?

A.-I did have some objection, because I lost from 5 to 10 per cent on the sale of the

copper.

*

J

L

you

( 147 )

tender in these days you knew

you

would receive

Q.-But when

made your and you allowed for it I presume?

copper

A. Very seldom I did.

-But still you know perfectly well you would get 10 per cent in copper; you

knew it beforehand?

A. Yes.

Q.-And therefore

you allowed for it?

A. Yes.

Q.-Do you write your own bills?

A.-Sometimes I do, and sometimes I ask my friends to do it for me.

Q.-IS CHAN FUK a friend of yours?

A.-Everyone is the same to me.

Q.--Does CHAN FUK write your bills for

you

sometimes?

A. Sometimes he does.

Q. -Do you give CHAN FUK a trifle for writing the bills for you?

A.-No, I do not.

Q.-We are told it is a custom perfectly understood that Mr. CHAN FUK, when he makes out bills for work not done by contract, gets one per cent for making out the

bills.

A.-I don't know what other people may have done, but I used to measure the work I had done and put down the amount.

-It is not a question of measuring, but of writing the bill.

A.-He simply translates the Chinese paper I give him.

Q. Who? CHAN FUK?

A. Yes, and sometimes AKAM.

Q.

-But if you give him a paper in Chinese, and he has to translate it into English, he expects something for his trouble, does he not?

else.

A.-Why should I give him anything? If he did not do it I could get someone

Q.-But why should he do it, of all people in the world? It is not his business.

A.-I ask him whether he would be willing to do it.

Q.—And so he does it out of sheer good nature?

A. He would not dare to ask me for any cumshaw.

1

( 148 )

Q.-But considering there are so many people who want it done?

A.-I am speaking of my own business. I don't know what other people do.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Is it not China custom to pay little presents for that kind of work?

tea.

A.-I did give him some presents on the occasion of the Chinese festivals, such as

Q.-But if you come to my shroff and get him to do something, you having to receive large sums of money from me, you would pay my shroff something back?

A.-If I did not know him he would not undertake to make out the bills for me.

Q.-But is it not China custom to give something? Say what is true and not

what is not true.

A. Truly.

Q.-I know it is true in mercantile houses, and what is the difference between a

mercantile house and the Government Office? Is it not true there?

A.-No.

Hon. A. LISTER.—Tell him to bring to me to-morrow morning the date on which he got that cheque from Mr. BowDLER. If he can bring me his book and show me the date, so much the better.

WITNESS.-I must look through the books.

Hon. A. LISTER.-Very well. Anyhow I want it before China New Year. He must get his shroff to work to find it.

WITNESS.-I am only a Contractor; I am not a tradesman.

Hon. A. LISTER.-But he says he got a cheque from Mr. BOWDLER.

WITNESS.-Yes.

Hon. A. LISTER.-Well, that will do.

Mr. HoWROYD is examined,-

-Hon. A. LISTER.-How long have you been in the Public Works Department?

A.-Two years and a half.

Q. And I think you have been Clerk of Works all the time?

A.-

-Yes, up to the time of Mr. NEAT's going away. Since then I have been acting in his place, also attending to my duties as Clerk of Works.

( 149 )

Q.-We want to know if you can tell us anything about all these reports that have been going about, about the corruption said to prevail amongst the Overseers, or in the department in any way. Do you yourself know anything about it?

A.-I don't know anything about it, except the reports I have seen in the papers that certain charges have been made, but as regards any charges, I don't know of a single charge.

Q.-But have you been two years and a half in the Public Works Department

without forming some sort of an idea on the subject?

A.-Only as regards my own self, that is all.

Q.-And what is your idea?

A.-I don't think there is anything of the sort in the department.

Q.-Have you never yourself had any of these Contractors make an offer to you or try to find out if money would be acceptable.

A. I have never had such an offer made to me.

Q.-Just let me tell you what has happened. Major MULLOY has told us he has had to refuse valuable presents; Mr. LEIGH has told us private Architects could receivə presents to almost any amount if they chose, also that he had to refuse a present of $300 soon after he entered the Public Works Department; Mr. ALFORD, who was Inspector of Buildings, used to speak very strongly about the temptations which existed; but it seems to be the case that the Chinese don't offer money except when they think money would be taken. Still you might have seen something which would lead you to know whether they would offer money if it would be taken.

A.—I have never seen anything. I am always very strict with Contractors, but I have never had money offered to me.

Q.-Have you seen anything with others that would lead you to suppose there might be money giving?

A.-In my department there were only myself and Mr. BAINES, two of us. I used to give him his work and used to see it was done. That was before Mr. CRAMP came out. I never saw any money offered to him or any temptation placed in his way, and I am certain there has never been anything offered to myself.

-Can you give us any idea who it is that has been putting these reports about?

A.-I should very much like to know. I think it is a very scandalous affair to put about such reports as these. It casts a slur on our department.

-And yet I suppose you would admit the Overseers have considerable oppor- tunity for taking money?

A.-Well, I don't know about that, I am sure. They have opportunity, but I don't know whether they do it.

which

( 150 )

-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You don't know of any weak spot in the department

you could point out?

A.-I do not.

Q.-Nothing has been occurred to you?

A.—No; I have never had any bribe offered and I have never seen one offered.

Q.-Nothing to lead you to suppose any improvement could be made in the carrying on of the department. Have you anything to do with measuring?

A. Yes, I check the bills.

Q.-We are told it is a common practice for the Overseers to make out the bills?

A.-There is not an Overseer in my department who could make out a bill.

Q.—We are told they do make out bills and receive payment, I don't put it in the way of a bribe, but that they are paid for the work they do. Have you ever heard that?

A.-I have not. I measure all works. The Contractor is with me and he takes his

dimensions along with me.

Q. Do you take the measurement before the work is commenced or after it is

finished?

A.-If there is an estimate I measure it before; if not, after it is finished.

Q.-In a large Department such as this, in measuring work, and where the Officers deputed to measure the work are in a position to state the amount more or less, and the bill is paid on their certificate, is there not a great opportunity for bribery?

A. If there is, the man who measures the work does it at his own risk, because Mr. PRICE or Mr. BOWDLER might depute some one to measure the work after you, and you run the risk of being found out.

Q.-

-But admit there is an opportunity?

you

A.-I don't know, because persons are aware that some one might measure

afterwards.

Q. And you know nothing about Overseers making out bills?

A.-There is no Overseer in my department who can make out bills.

-The CHAIRMAN.-You never heard anyone say there was corruption in the department?

A.-Not anyone I could bring to mind personally, but I have seen it in the paper, and when you are going about the street you cannot help hearing what people say.

Q. Did you hear people say things in the street?

A.-During the time the trial was going on.

( 151 )

Q.-But before?

A.-No; but at the time the trial was going on it was in every one's mouth.

Q.-Did you hear anyone say he knew well enough there was a particular case?

A.-No.

Q. When people are being talked about there is generally some one who professes

to know more than others?

A. Yes, they know more than we do in the department, but I would not trust

them.

Q.—Hon. A. LISTER.-Do you know anything about a practice said to prevail in the department, that one of the clerks gets one per cent for helping the Contractors to

make out their bills?

A.—I have heard it, but I don't know whether it is true or not.

Q.-Have you heard it often?

A.-No; it was just after I came. The Contractor wanted me to make out a bill

I said "No; you must find your own clerk; it is not my business?"

Q. Do you know to whom he took the bill then?

A.-No.

Q.-He wanted some assistance?

A. Yes. None of the Contractors can write English and they want some one to write out their bills, but I don't know whether they give them anything for doing so, or whether it is done in Government time.

Q.-But there is that fact, that they cannot write English and want assistance?

A.-There are two or three Contractors who cannot write English, and their bills come to this department, but not in the handwriting of any one in the department. One Contractor gets a schoolmaster to write them for him.

—One witness said it was almost a recognised thing that one of the clerks gets one per cent, he believed, for making out bills, and you seem to have heard of it?

A. That was just when I came, two and a half years ago.

Q.-Did you hear any particular Clerk named?

A.-No.

Q.-Is there any particular Clerk who makes out a good many of these bills?

A.-They don't come into my charge, not a single one.

Q.-Do you see the bills?

A. I have to pass them every month.

ļ

( 152 )

Q.-In whose handwriting are they generally?

A.-Mr. ASHING makes out his own, so does A Wa.

.—But I mean those that are made in the department.

A.-They don't come into my hands. The people I have to do with can measure

up and make out their own bills.

-Then you don't see these bills?

A.-No, I do not. I do not see the other departments' bills.

کو

Mr. WATTS is examined,-

Q.—Hon. A. LISTER.-How long have you been in the Public Works Department?

A.-I was transferred from the Gaol in 1874.

Q.-You were in the Gaol before?

A. Yes.

Q.-Have you been home on leave lately?

A. Yes. I arrived on Monday morning by the mail. I have been away six

months.

Q. Can you tell us anything about these reports that have been going about as to the Public Works Department, to the effect that the Overseers are in the habit of taking money and presents from Chinese?

A.-No.

Q. -Do you know anything about it yourself?

A,-No.

Q.-Has any Chinese ever offered

you presents?

A.-No, except at Christmas.

-What do they give you?

A.-Mutton, and oranges, and so on:

Q.-Anything valuable?

A.-No.

Q.-Has any Chinese ever offered you cigars or a case of Champagne?

A.-No. I have taken a single cigar from them.

Q.-Have they ever attempted to offer you money?

A.-No.

{

( 153 )

-What works do you chiefly look after?

A.-The Roads.

Q.-Do you have much trouble with the Contractors?

A.-No.

Q.-There is no doubt that before you went home either somebody in the Public Works Department or in some Government Department supplied the editor of the Hongkong Telegraph with copies of certain letters, numbers and dates, and there is every reason to believe some one in the department said he thought that you had taken this information from that waiting room outside Mr. PRICE'S Office and supplied it to Mr. FRASER-SMITH. Do you know anything about that?

A.-No.

Q.-I suppose you know the draft letters and letter book are kept in that office

outside Mr. PRICE'S Office?

A.-I believe I have seen a clip with Letters from the Colonial Secretary marked on it.

Q.-Well, there would be no difficulty in looking at the letters if

A.—Well, no; Mr. CHAN FUK is in charge of that.

-But he is often out?

A. Yes.

you wanted?

Q.-Is it not a fact also that Mr. PRICE is there very often till six o'clock, long after the Clerks have gone?

A. Yes.

-And that room is open?

A. Yes, but I don't know whether his desk is open.

P

Q.-But supposing the desk to be open, there is no difficulty in any one going in

and copying for three quarters of an hour?

A.-No.

Q.-Do

A.-No.

you know anything about such a copy being taken?

Q.-If any one said he suspected you of taking it he would be accusing you wrong- fully?

A. Yes.

Q.-Do you know Mr. FRASER-SMITH?

A.-I know him by sight, but I never spoke half-a-dozen words to him in

my life.

( 154 )

Q.-It is not true, then, that you are in the habit of meeting him?

A.-No.

Q.—Did you ever meet him at Mr. NOLAN's?

A.-No.

Q.-Are you in the habit of going to Mr. NOLAN's?

A.-No.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Is it part of your duty to measure work?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you ever make out bills for the Contractors?

A.-After I get the copy from them I sometimes make them out.

Q.-We are told Overseers very often get paid for that as extra work. ever received payment?

Have you

A.-No. I go over the work and measure it and then I get the bill, and if the bill is correct I take that bill; if it is not, I take it home and make it out correctly.

Q.-After you have measured the work what do you do with your account of the

measurement?

A.-I put it in my pocket, and then when the Contractor's bill comes in I see whether it is according to my measurement. If it is not, I take the Contractor with me, and make him go over it with me.

Q-Is he with you when you measure sometimes?

A.--If there is any dispute I take him with me over the work.

Q.-Recollect if in all your experience you have ever had a Contractor offer you money in connection with that.

A.-No.

Q.-Never once?

A.-No.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-You were away when all this Newspaper business was going on. Before you went away had you ever heard any one say Overseers and others in the department get money from Contractors?

A.-No.

Q.-Never heard any talk about it at all?

A.-No.

Q. When you went away were you expected to come back?

A. I did not know. I was invalided by the doctor. If I had not got better I should have put in to remain at home.

The Commission adjourns.

( 155 )

THIRTEENTH MEETING.

26th January, 1884.

Present: The Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

""

A. LISTER, Treasurer.

F. B. JOHNSON.

""

WONG TSO-LEONG is examined,-

Q. Hon. A. LISTER.-You are a Contractor, are you not?

A. Yes.

Q.-You have been so for a long time, I think?

A.-I have been in Hongkong about 30 years.

Q.-I am told the Contractors here had some idea a little time ago about present- ing a petition to the Government-all of them. What were they going to petition

about?

A.—I did not take part in it, I know nothing about it.

Q. Are you not a sort of father to the Contractors here? You are the oldest of them all, are you not?

A.-I am the oldest.

Q.-Of course you must know that during the number of years you have been at work here sometimes foremen in the Public Works Department have received cumshaws to make things pleasant and so forth.

A. I have never done such a thing.

Q.-But you know all about it?

A.—I don't know, because I do not see it with my own eyes.

Q.-Have the Contractors all made up their minds to say the same thing?

A.-No; I mind my own business.

Q. Why were they so unwilling to come?

A.--I have my own business to attend to.

Q.—Well, you have been here thirty years, and you do not know anything at all about any giving of presents or bribes or anything of the sort?

A.—I myself have never done such a thing. If others have done it how do I

know?

Q.-Not under Mr. CLEVERLY, Mr. WILSON, Mr. MOORSOм, nor under any Sur-

veyor General whatever have you ever heard of anything of that sort?

A.-They never asked me to give them any cumshaws, nor did I give them any.

J

( 156 )

Q.-I am speaking of course about the foremen.

A. Yes, I am speaking about the foremen.

Q.-Well, you cannot expect us to believe that.

A.-I am talking about my own business; I believe it myself.

Q. And you do not know anything about this petition that was being got up?

A.-I can swear I do not.

-If the Contractors have anything to say they would be perfectly right in get- ing up a petition about it. You may remember you complained some years ago about your men being assaulted. Nothing happened to you or your men, and the thing was

put a stop to.

A.—I don't get the contracts from the Overseers, but from the Surveyor General. So long as I carry out a contract according to regulations the Overseers cannot say anything against me, and if I do not they can report me to the Surveyor General. If I had been ill-treated by any Overseer I would report it to the Surveyor General.

-The CHAIRMAN.-Is it a Chinese custom to send turkeys and cakes and things

at Christmas to the Overseers?

A.-I have never sent any turkeys, but I have sent capons and legs of mutton and fruit once in the year.

Q.-What is the meaning of that custom?

A.-It is the custom among friends for one to send presents to the other. I have not been sending any for several years.

Q.-You say it is the custom between friends to send presents at Christmas. Do the Contractors regard the Overseers as their friends?

A.-Often they are not our friends, but we must take them to be so.

Q. Why?

A. They are acquainted with us and we take them to be our friends.

Q.—But do they send you presents?

A.-What would they have to send?

Q.- -Well, do they give you anything in exchange? Friends exchange things.

A.-I only send small presents in celebration of Christmas; that is all.

Q.-Do you know Mr. FRASER-SMITH?

A.-I do not.

Q.-During all the 30 years you have been a Contractor have you ever heard any one say anything that makes you think any Overseer can get any squeezes?

A.-How could I possibly know all other people's affairs?

A

( 157 )

Q.-But there are your own affairs. Have you heard with your own ears any body say so?

A.-I never heard anything.

Q.-I don't ask you

if

you ever gave anything, or if your friends have, but whether

you have ever heard any one say any one else did.

A.—I never heard it. If any man did give bribes to the Overseer he would keep

it quiet.

Q.-Have you any partners?

A.-No. I am the sole owner of the business.

Q-What contracts have you had ?

A.-I have had many contracts; more than I can count.

Q. Have you ever any trouble in getting your bills paid?

A.-There was trouble in Mr. MOORSOM's time.

Q.-Has there been trouble lately?

A.-There has not been much delay since the present Surveyor General returned.

-Who makes out your bill for you when you send it in?

A.-I have got a Chinaman who can write English.

Q.-And you sometimes ask the Overseer?

A.-I have got a man who writes English, and he writes for me.

Q.-But sometimes you ask the Overseer to write for you?

A.-Never.

Q.-Or the Clerk in the office?

A.-I always tell my own Clerk to do it.

Q. Do you ever get any help from any one in the department ?

A.-In Mr. WILSON'S time I asked Mr. GUTIERREZ to do it for me,

Q.-Do you do all

your Government contracts yourself, or do you sometimes let them out to other people?

A.-I provide all the materials and get another man to supply me with workmen.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.—Have you ever heard that any of the foremen have a share

in some of the Contractors' business?

A.-I have never heard that. If I have heard it, and will not let you know, you can punish me.

( 158 )

CHAN TSAN is examined,-

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Your shop name is Atan, I believe?

A. Yes.

W

Q.-You were telling me the other day there was some idea amongst the Con- tractors of petitioning. What were they going to petition about?

A. There was some talk amongst the Contractors that they could not get their bills paid within several months' time, and that some had to be paid in copper and others not. They wanted to ascertain what the rate was.

.-Were these two the only grievances, the delay in payment of bills and occasional payments in copper

?

A.-Nothing else.

Q.-Had they any idea of complaining that the Overseers would occasionally take bribes or receive money from Contractors?

A.-No; there was no such idea.

Q.-You have given me some valuable information, can you tell us anything about what is said to be the case, that the foremen do take money from people?

A.-I don't know anything about it.

Q.

-But it could not go on to any extent without your knowing it?

A. I don't interfere with other people's business.

Q.-You have done work for the Government to a very considerable extent. Have' you ever had any occasion to give presents?

A.-Not very often; only at Christmas, because it is the custom.

Q.--We had a case here the other day in which a man is said to have paid $100 not to have the water turned off a house he was rebuilding. Have you ever had to pay a sum like that?

A.-Never.

Q.-Did you hear about that $100 being paid?

A.-I did not.

Q. Do you think, then, the foremen of the Public Works Department are honest men who don't take bribes at all? What is your opinion of them?

A.-None of those I know take much bribes.

Q. Do they take any?

A.-They never take any.

Q.-Do you know of any

foreman having a share in a Contractor's business?

A.-No.

( 159 )

Q.-You do not know it at the Government Offices, but suppose you were talking it over at a dinner at your club, I think perhaps you might know more about it then?

A.-I never had any talk over that.

Q.-If the Chinese Contractors will not assist at all in setting these things right they have only themselves to thank. When the Government comes forward and is anxious to help them they won't give any information.

*A.—I have been telling what I know.

-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Is it not a well-known customs amongst Chinese, when they come to receive money from a foreigner, to pay a small commission or present to the compradore or shroff who pays it?

A.-Very little.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Do you mean that the custom is rare, or that they give a very small present?

A.-I have not been paying any.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-But suppose you had to receive from my house a certain sum of money for any contract, and the compradore paid it, would you not give back something to the shroff? Is not that the custom?

A.-I don't know whether there is such a custom or not. I only collect money

from the Government.

*

Q. Do you do business with private people as well as the Government?

A. Yes.

*

-Do you ever pay to the compradores of private people any present or commission?

A.-No, never.

Q.-You have never heard of such a thing in Chinese affairs?

A. So far as my knowledge goes there is no such thing.

very little."

Q.-But you said just now" little." What do you mean by saying now you

do not know of it at all?

A.-I mean to say I have never paid any myself. Whether other men have done so or not I cannot say.

-The CHAIRMAN.-How long have you been a Government Contractor?

A. About 12 years.

Q.-What is the average profit you make out of Government contracts?

A.-Sometimes I can make money, and other times I have to lose.

Q.-On the whole do you think you have won or lost?

A.-I have made a little profit.

( 160 )

-Who shares that little profit with you?

A.-A nephew and an uncle.

Q.--Have you ever heard of anyone getting bribes in the Surveyor General's De- partment, or presents?

A.-I have never heard of it.

Q.-Don't you give presents at Christmas?

A.-Yes.

Q.--Why do you give them?

A.-Because it is the custom merely as friends.

Q.-Why do

you treat these people as friends?

A. After I had been here two or three years and was always brought in contact with them, then we became acquainted.

Q.-What kind offices do they do for you?

A.-They don't do me any favour.

Q.-You mean to say you have been friends for ten years and they have never treated you kindly in any way?

A.-I have received no favour at all.

Q. Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-But is it not a custom between friends to give and take? You only give.

A.-I don't know what they mean by not returning the presents, but according to Chinese custom it is usual to give some small present at Christmas.

back?

Q.--But it is usual to receive them too.

A.-I never received any.

Q.—You never get presents at Christmas from anybody?

A.-My Chinese friends are in the habit of giving me presents.

Q.-Then why do you give them to these Overseers who never give you anything

A.-It is the practice every year.

Q.--What does the practice arise out of?

A. That I myself do not understand.

Q.-Is it not to make things go easy?

A.-No.

.--Not to make any trouble?

-No such thing. That is not the case.

Q. Do you ever give any Champagne?

A.-Never.

C

( 161 )

TSANG IU is examined,—

-Hon. A. LISTER.-You are a Government Contractor?

A. Yes.

Q.-Were you going to join in that petition about delay in the payment of bills

and so forth?

A.-No, I did not take part in it.

Q.

-There is no harm in it.'

A.-In Mr. CLEVERLEY'S time I had many contracts, but since then not many, and sometimes I stop work for two or three years.

Q.-Do

-Do you get your bills paid promptly?

A. Sometimes promptly and sometimes not; sometimes a month after they were

sent in.

Q.-Have you any Government work going on now?

A. Yes.

Q. What are you doing?

A.-Making bridges, and repairing the landslip in the Government Gardens.

Q. -Do you get your money promptly for these things now?

A. Yes.

Q.-Have you any complaint to make about the foremen taking money from him?

A.-No. I have not many contracts.

Did you ever give money to any Overseer?

A.-Never.

Q.-Not even in Mr. CLEVERLY's time?

A.-No.

-The CHAIRMAN.-People who have many contracts do give money, don't they?

A.-That I don't know; it is other people's business, not mine.

Q.-Whom could we ask about that?

A.-I could not say.

Q.-Have you ever told anyone Contractors were not fairly dealt with ?

A.--I am a business man and I don't interfere with other men's business.

-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Are there any squeezes taken by any one in the De- partment that you know of?

A.-I don't know.

=

.( 162 )

-Hon. A. LISTER.-Who writes your bills for

A.-My son.

Q.-In English?

A. Yes.

you

?

TSANG PAT is examined,—

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Are you a Government Contractor?

A. Yes.

Q.-How long have you been so?

A.-Four or five years.

—Have you ever given money to any Overseers?

A.-Never.

Q. Did you ever hear of anybody giving any?

A.-I have never heard of it.

Q.--Have you any complaint to make against the Surveyor General's Department? Do they treat you fairly? Do they try to get money out of you?

A.-I have no complaint to make.

Q.-Do they squeeze you?

A.-No; I always carry out my contracts according to the rule.

Q.-Were you going to join in the petition the other day?

A.-I did not know there was any idea of petitioning.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-You never heard of any Overseer having a share in a Con-

tractor's business?

A. That I don't know. I always make roads and bridges.

SUN SHING is examined,-

-The CHAIRMAN.--Are you a Contractor?

A.-Yes.

Q.-How many years have you done Government works?

A.-Seven or eight years.

Q.-Have you ever given money to any of the Overseers?

A.--Never.

( 163 )

Q.-Not at all?

A.-No.

Q.-Not a penny?

A-No, not a penny.

Q.-Or presents?

A. Sometimes I have given presents on Christmas day.

Q.-Have you ever been squeezed, or oppressed, or badly treated by the Overseers?

A.-No; only sometimes if the work is done badly by the workmen they must make me do it over again.

Q.-That is right; you don't complain of that?

A.-No. I was introduced to the department by Mr. PRESTAGE, and I only do

house work.

-Hon. A. LISTER.-But I saw your men out at Tai-tam?

A. Yes, I built the matsheds and wooden houses.

Q.--The CHAIRMAN.--Have you ever complained to any one of being squeezed or

badly treated by the department?

day?

A.-No.

-Have you ever spoken about it?

A.-No.

Q. -Have you

A.-No.

Q.-Have you

A.-No.

heard any one else speak of it?

heard of a petition the Contractors were going to get up the other

Q. Hon. A. LISTER.-All the Contractors were going to make a petition. Did you hear about that?

A.-No Contractors told me about it.

-The CHAIRMAN.-Do you know Mr. FRASER-SMITH ?

A.-No; I know he is in a Newspaper house.

Q.-Do you know Mr. RoSE?

A. Yes.

Q.-Did Mr. ROSE take you to see Mr. SMITH one day?

A.-Never.

I

( 164 )

Q. Are you quite sure?

A. Yes.

Q.-Have you ever seen this Mr. SMITH?

A.-I saw him in Court a few weeks ago. Perhaps I might have seen him before

but I did not know him.

Q.-You knew where he lived?

A.-Now I know where he lives.

Q.-You have never been there?

I

go

office.

A.-I sometimes go to the place.

Q.-Whom do you go to see?

A.-To see Mr. Rose only.

Q.-Why do you go to see Mr. ROSE?

A.--Sometimes he gives me work at the water tanks, and when I want anything to see him.

-Do you go to see him at his house?

A. Yes, if I cannot find him,at the office I go to his house in the evening.

Q.-Sometimes you see Mr. SMITH there?

A.-In his house?

Q.-No, but at Peddar's Hill.

A.-I don't know, because before that time he was in Court I did not know his

Q.-But the other Mr. SMITH?

A.-No, I don't know him.

Q.-Has Mr. Rose asked you questions about whether you have been squeezed ?

A.-Never.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Have any of the clerks about the department ever squeezed you when you were coming to get payment for your bills?

A.-No. I always make the bill out myself and send it in to the Clerk of Works, and then he goes home to make a duplicate to send to Mr. PRICE.

Q.--And you have never been squeezed by any of the Clerks or Shroffs?

A.-No.

Q.-Have

you any complaint to make about it?

A.-No.

Za

( 165 )

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER. You make your own bills?

A. Yes.

-But some of the bills have to be written out by the clerk. Here is a long bill written by a clerk in Mr. PRICE'S Office. Do you know if they have to pay any- thing for that?

A.—I don't know. I always make the bill out myself and give it to the clerk of works, and he checks it.

Q. Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Have you anything to do with measured work?

A. Yes.

Q.-Who measures it?

A.-It depends on who orders the work; the same man goes to measure.

Q.-Do

you pay him anything?

A.-No. I go to measure myself and make out my bill, and then I give it to the man who measures, and sometimes he will make me make it out again.

Q.-And you have never heard of any presents being given to the Officer who measures work of that kind to pass your bill without saying anything about it?

A.-Never.

-Such things are not possible?

A.-No.

HÜ YAU is examined,―

Q.--Hon. A. LISTER.-Are you a partner of CHAN TAI-KI?

A. Yes.

Q.-Here is a long bill for storm damages last year. The total is only $11, but yet it is a very long bill. In whose handwriting is this?

A.-A friend of mine.

Q-What is the friend's name?

A.-LI TAK.

Q.-Now what is the good of your saying that when I know the handwriting?

A.-I don't get any particular person to do all bills for me. person and sometimes another.

Sometimes I get one

Q.-But you say at once it was your friend wrote that and it was not. Look at that bill.

A.-It was at night, and I went to get KAM CHU-SHEUNG to do it for me.

( 166 )

-This is CHAN FUK's handwriting.

A.--No; I never ask CHAN FUK to write for me. This was made by Mr. KAM

CHU-SHEUNG at his own house.

Q.—This, then, was made out by a clerk in the Public Works Department?

A.-Yes; I took it to his house and he made it out for me there.

Q.--What consideration does this young gentleman get for making out these bills? Of course he gets something.

A.-I have to send him some presents according to the amount of the bill.

Q.-The presents amount, I think, to one per cent. on the amount of the bill?

A.--If the bill is large I pay a few ten cent pieces on a hundred dollars, but

I don't have much work.

}

Q.-And was this small allowance generally given in the shape of money, or was it generally put in the shape of tea and things of that kind?

A.-Presents and money at one and the same time.

Q. --I think I understand you to say the presents and money were taken at the time the service was asked, and you asked him, "Would you have the kindness to

make out this bill?"

A.-The money was not given before the bill was made, but afterwards when I sent him presents.

Q.-Have you ever had bills amounting to several thousands of dollars?

A.-I never did work to that extent.

-What is the biggest bill you have ever had?

A. One or two thousand dollars.

Q.-Then you have had to give him at least $10.

A.-Once I paid $5 on a bill of $1,000, besides some presents.

Q.-What was the value of the presents?

A.-$3 or more.

Q.-Then it came very nearly to one per cent?

A.-Very likely, but he did not ask me to pay him any certain amount.

Q.-But

-But you seem to admit that about one per cent is looked upon as the proper

thing. It is perhaps not quite one per cent, but thereabout.

A.-Not so much, but nearly.

Q.-I

-I understand you to say one per cent is paid sometimes?

A.-Sometimes.

( 167 )

Q.-Do other people pay this as well as you?

A.-I don't know.

Q.-Does the payment include the services of the clerk to get the bill put through as well?

A.-No..

Q.-Only the writing?

A. Yes.

Is anything else paid for getting the bill quickly attended to?

A.-I need not give any money afterward.

Q.-Well, you have told us very frankly about this payment of one per cent. Can you tell us anything about some payments which are made sometimes to the foremen?

A.-I never pay the foremen anything.

Q.-Did

Did you ever hear of anyone paying anything to the foremen?

A.-I have not heard of it.

-I am told some of the Overseers have shares in some of the Contractors' shops.

Is that so?

A.-I have not heard that.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You have told us you pay a small fee for having your bill made out. Do

you ever do any work that requires measuring by Overseers?

A. Sometimes I do work which requires measuring.

Q. Do you ever employ the Overseer to make out the account for you?

A.-No, he does not do that for me. If there was any mistake he would alter it

and ask me to make another bill.

it?

Q.-That is to say, if he found any mistake in what you made out he would alter

A. Yes, and ask me to make another bill.

.—But you never had a bill made out by an Overseer?

A.-Never. I send in bills and they look over them, and if they find any mistake they scratch it out.

-Who makes out the bills?

A-Sometimes Mr. KAM CHU-SHEUNG.

Q. Did you ever hear of Overseers receiving money in order that they may pass the bill easily?

A.—I have never paid them anything, nor have I heard of its being done. All the bills I send in I have to do over again two or three times.

( 168 )

Q.-It would be very easy for you or any other Contractor to give a bribe to an Overseer to say there was more work done than was done?

A.-I dare not do that sort of thing.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Why not?

A.-How dare I give other people money?

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-But you dare to give the clerk money?

A.-Only for his trouble.

Q.-But is not one per cent a great deal to give him for his trouble?

A. That was a small fee he had for his trouble.

Q.-Do you call one per cent a small fee?

A. Sometimes the bill only amounted to $10 odd and he had to write about ten

bills.

---How much do you think that clerk makes out of all the bills?

A.-I don't know.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Do you know what the meaning of the term squeeze is in Chinese?

A.-To extort money.

-Have

you ever been squeezed by any Officer in the Public Works Department?

A.-No, never.

Q.-Have you ever voluntarily paid any money?

A.-No.

Q.-As friends?

A.-No.

Q.-Do you know Mr. ROSE?

A.-Yes.

Q.-Have you not lent him money?

A.-No.

Q. Do you know Mr. FRASER-SMITH or Mr. STUART-SMITH?

A.-I do not.

Q.-Never heard of them?

A.-No, never heard anything about them, never heard their names.

Q.-You know the Newspaper, the Hongkong Telegraph?

A.-No.

( 169 )

Q.- -Do you remember Mr. ROSE taking you to see a gentleman once at Peddar's

Hill?

A. I have never been to that place.

Q.-Well, somewhere else where Mr. Rose took you to see some one?

A.-No; he never took me to any place. He had no work for me.

Q.-Were you going to sign that petition the other day? Did you hear of it?

A.-No, I have not heard anything about it.

Q.-Have you any complaint to make about the Public Works Department? Is there anything you would like to see changed?

A.-I have no complaint to make.

LAM KAM-CHI is examined,-

-Hon. A. LISTER.-You are a Government Contractor, are you not?

A. Yes.

Q.--Were you going to join in that petition that was being got up about certain grievances the Contractors had?

A.-No, I did not take part in it.

Q.-Did you hear about it?

A.-No.

Q-Have you got any grievances? If you have, we want to hear them.

A.-No, none whatever.

Q. Are you perfectly satisfied with your treatment?

A. Yes; perfectly satisfied.

Q.-Who makes out your bills for you?

A.-Sometimes I ask Portuguese, sometimes Chinese.

Q.-Are any of these gentlemen connected with the Public Works Department?

A.-No; they are outsiders.

Q.-Do you get your bills paid promptly?

A.-Sometimes promptly, sometimes not.

-But have they always been paid promptly lately?

A. Yes.

-Have you ever heard of any of the Overseers in the Public Works Department having a share in the business of any Contractor?

A.-I have not heard that. I don't know anything about it.

( 170 )

Q.-It is necessary, I believe, to pay some small sums to these Overseers to keep things going on pleasantly, is it not?

A.-No money is given, but at Christmas time some presents are sent.

Q.-I suppose that is to keep them in a good humour, is it not?

A.—It is the practice with me every year to send beef and mutton.

Q.-Do

you mean to say, then, you never paid the foremen anything?

A.-Never. Sometimes when I was smoking a cigar I would give the Overseer one.

Q.-Never a box of cigars?

A. Yes, at Christmas.

Q.-How many cigars in a box?

A.-A hundred.

Q. Do you give any champagne?

A.-No.

Q.-Some people give champagne, do they not?

A.-I don't know. I myself never gave any. I have not much work.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Was it this week or last that you spoke about this inquiry to the Overseers? you have seen some Overseers, have you not?

A.—I have heard nothing about it.

Q.--Have not the Overseers spoken to you about coming here?

A.—I was sent for only yesterday at four o'clock.

Q.-By whom?

A.-A coolie came; and all the Contractors were sent for at the same time.

Q.-Do you

know Mr. FRASER-SMITH?

A. He came round to my house org day. On the following day I received a subpoena.

Q.-Did you go up to Court?

A. Yes.

Q. What did he come to your house for?

A. He told me to go round to his office for a few minutes, but I refused. I asked what he wanted. He said "you come round to my place and I will tell you all about it." I thought he came to my shop to offer me work.

Q.-Why did you not go to his place?

A. He told me afterwards he wanted me about some Newspaper, and then I did not go.

( 171 )

Q. What did he say he wanted

you for?

A.-He said he could not explain to me properly, and he wanted me to go to his office where the Chinese could explain it properly, but I thought it was no use going, and I did not go.

Q.-Did he call you as a witness in Court?

A. Yes, I was examined, and I said what I knew.

Q.

-Do you know Mr. ROSE?

A. Yes.

Q.-Did not Mr. Rose send for you first, before Mr. FRASER-SMITH sent for you? A.-No. I always saw Mr. ROSE when I came to the office, and he gave me

work sometimes.

Q. -What do you mean by giving you work?

A.-Small jobs, mending the water pipes.

Q.-But have you not talked to him sometimes about the squeezes ?

A.-I have not.

Q.-Have you ever been squeezed?

A.-No, no one has ever squeezed me.

Q.-Have you ever given handsome presents to any of the Overseers?

A.-No, I have not.

Q. -You say you get your bills made out by people outside. How much do pay for that?

A.-Sometimes I give money and sometimes not.

Q.-Why don't you get people in the office to make them out for you?

A.-Sometimes one or two of my bills were made out in the office.

Q.-Why don't you always have them made out there?

A.-I don't get any one individual to do all the bills for me.

Q.—But would it not be more convenient to have one individual?

you

A.-Sometimes a man might be engaged, and then you could not get him to make

the bills for

you.

-But he would understand better how to make them out.

A.—I give a Chinese bill and he has simply to translate into English.

Q.-Yes; but why don't you employ some one in the office to do them all?

A. Which clerks have time to do it? They have got their own business to

attend to. Sometimes I have left a bill and he did not make it out for two or three

days afterwards. It is far better to have several persons to make bills out than one only.

( 172 )

Q.--Hon. A. LISTER.-When you did get bills made out in the office did you pay anything for it.

A.—No, I did not give any money. On Chinese festival days I sent a piece of Chinese ham, ducks, &c.

I LUN is examined,-

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-You are a Contractor for carpenters' work, are you not?

A.-I am a general Contractor.

Q. How many years

have you been a Contractor?

A. About seven years.

Q.--During that time have you had anything to complain of?

A.-No.

-You are perfectly satisfied with your treatment?

A.-Perfectly satisfied.

-Have you not been paid in copper sometimes?

A.--Formerly I was paid in cents, but not now.

Q.--You did not like that, I suppose?

A.-If other people were paid in copper there was no objection.

Q.-Have you ever had to pay any of the Overseers any sums of money? A.—Mr. PRESTAGE introduced me, but I never gave any money.

.--Who makes out your bills for you?

A.-I TSING-KWAI, a school-master.

Q. He is not connected with the Public Works Department, I suppose?

A.-No, he is teaching a school.

Q.-Does he make all your bills for you?

A. Yes.

Q.-And do you get your bills paid promptly?

A.-Sometimes promptly, and sometimes there is a delay of one or two months.

Q.-Then you have no complaint to make on that now have you?

A.-If I could get paid sooner I should be glad.

Q.-Have you ever heard any one say the people in the Public Works Department took bribes?

A.-I never heard that.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-You know Mr. FRASER-SMITH?

A.-I don't know him.

( 173 )

Q.-Have you never seen him?

A.-No.

Q.-Have you ever been squeezed?

A.-Never.

Q.--Have you ever given presents to the Overseers?

A.-No. In Mr. PRESTAGE's time I sent him some presents but he would not accept them.

Q.-Why did

you send them to Mr. PRESTAGE?

A.-I did not know at first what sort of a man he was, so I sent him presents, but he would not have them.

Q.-But what was your object?

A.-Often Chinese will send presents to foreigners at their festivals.

Q.-But I mean the sort of presents you used to send to Mr. PRESTAGE, that he

refused?

A. He told me he got his pay from the Government and that it was no use my sending any presents.

Q.-But did you send him presents to pay him?

A.-No; the presents consisted of tea, oranges, and so on, not money.

Q-Well, was it not rather rude of him not to take them?

A.-I don't know why he refused, but since he did so I do not make any presents

to others, as I thought there was no such custom.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Then you don't send Christmas presents now?

A.-No, because he refused them.

three

YAM PING is examined,-

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-You are a Builder?

A. Yes.

Q.-And Government Contractor?

A.-I have not been doing much work for the Government during the last two or

years, I did formerly.

Q.-Well, before, when you had lots of work, had you anything to complain of?

A.-No.

Q.-Have

you any Government work on hand now.

A.-I have not had any capital to take work. Mr. PRICE wished me to do so.

( 174 )

-Then you are a perfectly independent man; you can speak your mind freely?

A.-I was not badly treated before.

Q.-We are sitting here to inquire into certain charges made against the Overseers

of the Public Works Department. People say they receive bribes. Do you know any-, thing about it?

A.-I have not been up in this office for the last two or three years.

Q. When you were here did you know anything about their taking bribes?

A. They did not take them from myself.

Q.- -You never heard of an Overseer taking bribes?

A.—No, I did not hear of it, and I don't interfere with other people's business.

-The CHAIRMAN.-You have a contract for the Quarry Bay works?

A.—I have stopped work for sometime because I could not get paid, and I am taking legal proceedings.

Q.-Did you ever have to stop work because you could not get paid when you were doing work for the Government?

A.-No.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Had you any difficulty in getting payment?

A.—I did not have much difficulty. Sometimes there was delay.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Have you ever been squeezed when you were working for

the Government?

A.-Never.

Q.-Do you ever have to pay squeezes now, in private work?

A.-No; I do the work according to the contract and no one dare ask me for any

cumshaw.

Q.-

-Do

you know Mr. FRASER-SMITH?

A. I do not.

LUI YAU is examined,-

Q. Hon. A. LISTER.-You are a Government Contractor?

A. Yes.

Q.-How long have you been so?

A.-My father was a Contractor.

Q.-Have

(175)

Have you and your father been fairly treated by the Public Works Department?

A. Yes, both my father and myself have received fair treatment.

-Have you any complaint to make at all?

Q.-

A.-No.

bills for you?

-Who makes out your bills for

A.-I ask some one to do it for me.

Q.-Who is the some one?

A.-Not the clerks in the office down below.

Q.-What put that into your head? Why did you say that? Evidently some one has been talking to you when you say "not the clerks down below." What have you heard?

A.-No one told me to say that.

Q.-But I did not say anything to you about the clerks down below.

A.- -You asked me who made out the bills.

Q.-And you said not the clerks down below.

A.--You asked me who made out the bills for me.

Q.-I did not say anything about the clerks down below.

A.-No. I get some one to make the bills for me.

Q.--Who is the some one?

A.-LAI CHING, a teacher of English.

Q.-Then I suppose some people had got the clerks down below to make their bills out?

A.-I don't know, I only do work for the Government to the extent of a few thousand dollars a year.

—Do you ever have to pay anything to the Overseers?

A.-No.

Q.--The CHAIRMAN.-Why not?

A.--I am a business man and they never ask me to pay.

Q.-But is it not usual to pay?

A.-Never.

Q.-Have you ever been squeezed by any one?

A.--No, I have not myself, and I don't know of any one else who has.

(176)

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-I suppose all the Contractors have made up their minds before hand what to say about this?

A.-No, I am speaking the truth.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-What made you think this gentleman meant the clerks down below when you mentioned them?

A. He asked me who made the bills for me, and I said I got some one.

Q.-You said the clerks down below did not make them. What made you think

of them?

A.--I did say that.

think of them? Some one must have told you.

Q.-Well what made you think of them?

A.-No.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-You might as well have said it was not the priests at the Man Mo Temple.

ed so.

A. The bills were made by a teacher of English.

Q.-That is not the point. What put the clerks down below into your head?

A. You asked me whether the bills were made by the clerks down below.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-No.

WITNESS.--Truly you asked me that question; otherwise I would not have answer-

Hon. A. LISTER,-You evidently have come up here with the determination not to speak the truth. The soqner you go away the better.

WITNESS.-I am speaking the truth, and if you find that I am telling lies-

Hon. A. LISTER.-You had better go away.

The Commission adjourns.

FOURTEENTH MEETING.

29th January, 1884.

Present:-The Honourable A. LISTER, Treasurer.

F. B. JOHNSON.

Absent:-The Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

Mr. BOWDLER is recalled,-

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.--When this inquiry was first commenced, Mr. BOWDLER, an alarm was rather raised, I think, in the Public Works Department, as we advertised we would take information confidentially. I think the Officers of the Public Works De- partment took the view that we were offering a premium for charges against them. Was not that so?

A. Yes, something to that effect.

K

( 177 )

}

}

Q.-Did you share in that view?

A. Yes.

Hon. A. LISTER.-Well, our experience has been quite the contrary.

WITNESS.-I am glad to hear it.

Q.-Not one single person has volunteered to come; everyone has had to be brought here, and everyone has said the same thing: "Yes, there has been a good deal of talk," but they could not tell us anything definite. To that, however, there is one exception, which I am sorry to say concerns yourself, but you will probably be able to explain it. One gentleman said, "I will tell you something definite," and he mentioned two cases. One, a report among Contractors that your house at the Peak had been built as a present -had cost nothing, the consideration being that the man who built it was to have work at Tai-tam. I tracked this up to its source as far as I could, and I found it to consist of simple tittle-tattle amongst workmen. However, will you kindly tell us what you paid for that house?

*

A.-I cannot off-hand, I will tell you approximately, but I cannot tell you exactly. The first payment was for the levelling of the adjoining lot, $1,050; the contract was with CHAN ATAN. I am speaking from memory. The next was an agreement by measure work for levelling the site and constructing some drains, with CHAN AKING, $1,650 or $1,750, I am not certain which, but I think $1,650. The next was after Mr. PRICE had gone home, when I was Acting Surveyor General, and I had no time to make con- tracts. I was anxious to get up to the Peak because Mrs. BowDLER was very sick, and I told CHAN AKING to go and put in the foundations and build two rooms without delay, as I wanted to get up in May. That he did not succeed in doing, and I did not get in until nearly twelve months afterwards. After he had failed in this I entered into a contract with him to finish the house for $4,500.

-Then you have foundations, two rooms, and finishing the house for $4,500?

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Does that include the $1,650?

A.-No, nothing to do with that. That was for levelling the site and putting drains in. Work was going on at the house from January, 1881, to June, 1882, and it was not finished then; I had to go into it in a rough state. Since then I have built the out dependencies, put the retaining walls, trimmed up the place, and made additions to it. Last year I added one room and bath-room, and I paid on account of that $3,000. The work is not all finished, and I have not settled the accounts.

Q. Hon. A. LISTER.-So you have more to pay still?

A. Yes.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-To the same Contractor?

A. Yes.

( 178 )

Q.-Were the subsequent additions built by the same man?

A. Yes, if you are strict with a man you cannot change. Instead of the house being a cumshaw to me I have paid the Contractor $2,000 more than I ought to have

done.

sites?

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-I find the house has cost you $10,000 including the two

A. Yes, and I have supplied locks and furniture, and all that sort of thing.

Q.-And you have a little more to pay yet?

A. Yes; how much I cannot tell till it is all squared up. During the last two months I have had two bricklayers working constantly, but they have gone away for China New Year now.

Q.-It is, of course, as well to look into these things to the very bottom. Will have any difficulty in getting for us the cheque by which you paid this man? He says he was paid by cheque.

you

A.-Certainly. $1,650 I paid in cash; the other amounts have all been paid by

cheque.

-We find this man did obtain a considerable amount of work at Tai-tam. Have you any share in the apportioning of that work at Tai-tam?

A.-I had nothing whatever to do with it. The only thing I have had to do with it was getting in the tenders for the quarters in which the Overseers were to lodge. The plans I did not make; the specifications I did not make. The tenders came in and the work was carried out by the Surveyor General and myself.

Q. Had you anything to do with the selection of the tender?

A.-I was on the Committee, and this was the lowest tender.

Q. He says he has got about $18,000 worth of work at Tai-tam.

A.-I don't know at all. I have not the slightest idea. I have nothing whatever to do with Tai-tam.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-CHAN AKING was the Contractor for the $1,650 as well as the house?

A. Yes.

-Hon. A. LISTER.-I have put down here $1,050 for levelling the first site.

A.-That was ATAN.

Q.--Then the $1,650 was with this man AKING?

A. Yes.

Q. And all the rest was AKING?

A.--Yes, if you once commence with a man you cannot get rid of him. ·

*

( 179 )

The WITNESS goes for his cheque book, and on his return points out the counterfoils of the cheques paid on account of the building of his house. He states that the house has cost him $15,000, including the ground-speaking approximately. He asks-Will. you tell me the person who said this so that I may stop him.

Hon. A. LISTER.-As I tell you, I traced the thing. It was a Contractor, the man who is building the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, LAI YAU. I asked him for his authority, and he said the workmen said so.

WITNESS.—It is the first intimation I have had of it, and I can certify that I have paid more for the work than it is worth by fifteen or sixteen hundred dollars, because I failed to cut for overtime and so on, by which I might have laid myself open.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-It was much better to trace it as Mr. LISTER did.

Hon. A. LISTER.--It is quite clear, and I am sure we are all very glad it comes out so well.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-In these days when so much is said, as you told us, it must be very satisfactory to you to have this brought out.

WITNESS.-That was one reason why I was anxious the inquiry should be in public because then you show what a man is.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You see we should not have had that information in public.

Mr. DA SILVA, of the Audit Office, is examined,--

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-In the course of this inquiry a good deal has been said about the difficulties which Contractors occasionally have in getting their money. Of course they make the most of it, and I think they make the most of the fact that at one time they were kept waiting considerable periods, some of them say as much as twelve months. That probably was while Mr. PRICE was in England; but can you tell us what is the average delay after the bill has reached your office?

A.-That depends on the nature of the bill. When the bill is for contract work, we can easily pass it. The moment such a bill comes into our office, if I see there is any balance available under that contract, I enter it in the contract and send down the bill for payment. That is when there is no checking or anything of that sort, but in some accounts, as you are well aware, there are many figures to be checked before the account is properly audited. We have suggested to the Surveyor General that the items should be numbered in his office according to the schedule price. For instance, in some cases 25 cents per foot is charged. That 25 cents is composed of two or three items in the schedule. For instance, paving or concreting a road, there is a price for picking up, a price for trimming, a price for concrete; there are three things which compose that 25 cents, and sometimes the Contractors say they must charge one cent more because the broken stone has to be brought from a distance. When the road is

( 180 )

an old one they take up the old concrete and have the material near at hand, but when it is new work they have to get the broken stone from a distance. When the bill comes in we don't know that, we must ask them why they charge 26 cents, and then they say they charge one cent more for bringing the road metal from a distance. Sometimes therefore we are not quite certain whether an account is correct or not. We generally make a separation of those accounts that are in order and those that are not, and pass the former. With regard to the latter sometimes we make formal queries to the Sur- veyor General, and sometimes we send a clerk down below to ascertain under what items of the schedule the prices are charged. It would facilitate matters a great deal if when they pass an account in the Public Works Department they would enumerate the schedule prices.

*

Q.—Then I understand you to say the delay in passing bills for measured work arises from the complexity of the items and the want of references to the prices of the schedule, which are omitted in the Public Works Department?

A. Yes, because to them it is so easy whenever they classify an account to put the number of the schedule; to us it is most difficult, because we don't know exactly

what kind of work was done.

Q.- -Now let us confine ourselves entirely to a bill for contract work for the pre- sent. I see Mr. PRICE says sometimes, "so and so asks for an advance of $1,000." That is a lump sum, and of course there is no checking?

A.-No checking, but of course I must see whether there is any amount available in the contract. The Audit Office is not responsible whether the work is done or not.

Q. -Then what is the longest delay in a case of that kind?

A.-Perhaps three minutes or five minutes.

Q.-It is passed the same day?

A. Yes. Sometimes he comes up with the voucher, and I make the entry in the back of the contract. I enter the number of the pay list and the amount.

Q.-Then with regard to bills for measured work, I think they are generally passed in monthly batches?

A. Yes, but not always. For instance, bills for the repair of roads and streets they send

up in a batch.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Current work is to be paid every month?

A. Yes.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-And exceptional work when they send up?

A. Yes, almost every week there is some bill sent up.

Q. Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-What we want to know is how long it is before mea- surement work is paid for by you, as a rule, after the bill has received Mr. BOWDLER'S signature.

( 181 )

A. That depends on the Surveyor General's Office, because I sometimes see heaps of bills which have passed Mr. BOWDLER. He merely initials the ordinary Contractor's bill; afterwards it has to go to the Accountant's Office..

Q-What has Mr. PRICE to do after Mr. BoWDLER initials it?

A.-Mr. BOWDLER merely certifies to the correctness of the price,

Q.-Not to the work being done?

A.-The Overseer generally certifies to that.

Q.-What does Mr. BOWDLER certify to by his signature?

A. The correctness of the price.

Q.-Not that the work is done?

A.—If it is under his supervision, but many of these works are not under his su- pervision.

Q.-Well, let us take one case in point. and knows is done; he certifies as to the price.

Suppose this work he has supervision of,

Where does the bill go then?

A-To Mr. PRICE.

Q.-What for?

A.-To put his initials on.

Q.-Besides that has he anything else to do?

A. He and the Chinese clerk classify them. For instance, the report mentions

so and so.

it).

This is all technical. You understand this, I don't.

A.-I will show you one bill. (Produces a bill and explains the notes made upon

Q.-Then first we have a bill certified by the Overseer that the work has been done, next by the Assistant Surveyor General that the price is right. Then why can- not it be paid?

A.-It then goes to Mr. PRICE.

Q.-For what purpose?

A.-Mr. PRICE's signature is to classify to what kind of Public Works it belongs.

Q.-How long does it take Mr. PRICE to do that?

A. That I don't know; it is out of my department. You must bear in mind these (bills and pay sheet produced) are the amounts for September.

Q.-They call it September, but the man himself calls it August.

A:-He dates it the 31st August, but it comes in in September. It was paid on

the 20th November.

( 182 )

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-It is initialed on the 20th September by Mr. BOWDLER; there is no date to Mr. PRICE's initial; the pay sheet is for the 30th September, and the date when it is paid is the 20th November.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Is that the date when it is paid or brought into account?

A.-Paid.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-I should like another instance.

A.-I dare say Mr. BOWDLER is at fault in that case. and keeps it.

He generally passes the bill

Q. Well, Mr. BOWDLER says it is not his fault; he says it is your fault.

A.-How can we pass in September when there is a bill on the 8th October? They

all come to me at the same time.

-But they are put in for September.

A.-I can show you when these bills came to my office.

Q.-There is great carelessness somewhere. You make a pay sheet for September and put in bills for October.

WITNESS—No, it is dated September, that is all.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-The idea would be that this is money for works requisitioned for in September?

A. Yes.

Q.-And with one delay and another it is November before the bills get paid?

A. Yes.

Q.-But it is work requisitioned for in September?

A. Yes.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-In what office did it stop?

A.-That I cannot say. Sometimes you will see on Mr. BOWDLER's table a heap

of bills.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-From what you know of the department where would it be likely to stop, with Mr. PRICE, Mr. BOWDLER, or Mr. GUTIERREZ?

A.-Mr. GUTIERREZ has nothing to do but to make out the pay sheet. Mr. PRICE and CHAN FUK have to classify.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-There is one thing that ought to be done: everyone who initials it ought to put the date on.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Can you suggest any plans by which these delays might be simplified, and any Contractor, no matter whether for contract or measurement work, could

get his payment as readily as from you or me if he had done the work for 'us in our private capacities?

"

( 183 )

A.-Perhaps the only way would be the way Mr. MARSH suggested, a post-audit instead of a pre-audit of the accounts. Whoever passed the accounts would be respon-

sible to the Government for the correctness of the account.

-You would practically say to the Surveyor General, pay what you like, but all you pay which is not authorised you will have to be responsible for?

they audit afterwards.

A. Yes. All the Consular Accounts are paid in that way; Many public companies pay their accounts in the same way. Now, of course, they throw the blame on the Audit Office. If we audit the accounts we are responsible.

Q. Do you remember a change in the system of requisitioning introduced by Go- vernor HENNESSY, namely that instead of requisitioning in November for the money wanted in November you were to requisition in October?

A. Yes.

Q.-And it is strictly regulation, is it not?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you think that has introduced any extra delay into the payment of bills?

A.-Sometimes, because they requisition for a less amount than they require, and the Audit Office waits till they get the supplementary requisition before they can pass the bills. The Surveyor General requisitions say for a lump sum of $500, and if these bills come to $600 the Audit Office cannot pass them.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Would it not simplify matters if a bill like this for $430 was paid by a cheque at once by some Officer in the department?

you to

A.-No, because the requisition is really the authority to do certain work.

Q.-But you have the authority. Here you have Mr. BOWDLER, who initials that the work is being done and the amount is correct, and Mr. PRICE, who refers the special vote from which the survey is to be obtained. What prevents your writing a cheque and finishing it off at once? Why do you want requisitions?

A.-Because the instructions are-

Q.-Keep clear of your instructions. I want to ask you what you think would be the most simple manner of paying money?

A. That would be the most simple manner.

Q.-Is there any objection with regard to your books?

A.-No. It would simplify matters a great deal the moment the Public Works Department thinks a bill is correct to give a cheque or send to the Treasurer at once.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-The requisition is to my mind perfectly unnecessary.

Hon. A. LISTER.—And I am almost prepared to say it is, especially a requisition six weeks before you want the money.

( 184 )

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-The only thing is that the cashier should inform some one there is money at the bank to pay it.

you can

Hon. A. LISTER.-In fact the system reduces itself to this, that unless say how much money you want for your household

expenses next month, you may suddenly be informed some day you cannot have your dinner because you have not asked for quite enough.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-I should say pay by cheque and audit afterwards. I only want to ask one other question, and that relates to the statement that delays occur in the department somewhere. Might any one take a fee to help the work through?

A.-Well, not in our department, but in the Public Works Department the service is so open to criticism we cannot tell. Each bill before it comes to our office has to pass through so many hands. It goes to the Overseers; if the Overseer wishes to keep that man from getting his money he has an opportunity of exacting a small present before he signs it.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You mean to say there is the opportunity of exacting presents; whether they are paid or not you don't know?

A.-No one can tell that, because of course the Chinese are very sharp about these things, and when they do anything of the kind they know they are to blame just as much as the man who receives it, and they would never say anything about it.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.

Have you ever noticed any bribery in connection with the telegraph service? You have had a good deal to do with the putting up of the telegraph.

A. The payment is not made by me, but by the Public Works Department. I superintend the work done and all the bills go to the Public Works Department.

Q.-Have you ever had any reason to suppose there was money offered or given?

A.—I have no means of knowing. The Chinese are too sharp to tell anything of the sort. The only one case I recollect is that WONG TSO-LEONG spoke to me one day after one of the Overseer had bolted. He said. "That man owes me so much money.” "We must; whenever they want

I said. "Why did you let him have it?" He said.

money they come to me." You might inquire of him.

Q.-Do you recollect the name of the man who ran away?

A.-I am not quite sure. I will inquire and let you know. WONG TSO-LEONG is one of the best Contractors, the most honest. If he used to give little cumshaws to these men, I don't mean in the shape of any article of food, but in lending money to them, that is a very bad system. Whenever they go to the Contractors to borrow money they become in some way or other under the Contractor's thumb.

Q. How much had this man borrowed, do you

A.-I think a small sum of $50.

know?

( 185 )

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.--Have you heard of any other cases?

A.-No; that was merely a case in which the Contractor was lamenting his mis- fortune in the man's running away without paying him. I don't know whether the man intended to pay him.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Have you ever heard of any of these men having shares in the Contractor's business?

A. Well, I heard it some time ago, but of course it is a thing we cannot prove. They sometimes say some of the Overseers have some connection with the Contractors, but that is merely rumour, that the Chinese say so and so has some share in their business.

The witness subsequently sends in the name of the Overseer referred to in his con-

versation with WONG TSO-LEONG.

Mr. Rose is recalled,-

-Hon. A. LISTER.-What are your duties when a house is pulled down?

A.--If they have water laid on I cut off the supply from the mains.

-Is that the only duty you have when house is pulled down?

A. That is all.

Q. Do you make any report?

A.-No; I only make note of it myself.

Q.-You make no report?

A.-No.

Q.—Suppose you did not cut it off, would you require any special permission for allowing it to remain?

A. Yes, of course. My order is, when I see a house pulled down, to cut off the supply, and when the house is finished they apply for permission to put it on again.

-Now with regard to those two banks, the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank and the Chartered Mercantile Bank. There were two houses standing side by side, and they were both pulled down. How many stand pipes were there in the two houses?

A.-One supplying the two.

-There must have been separate supplies for the two houses?

A.-No; there are plenty of cases in which half a dozen houses get their supply from one pipe.

-Well, why was not that water cut off?

A. It was cut off.

( 186 )

Q.-No; it was on a week ago. I went and turned it on myself.

A.-At the new building.

Q.-At the new building; it has been turned on the whole time.

A.--I have had it disconnected from the main.

Q.-But I tell you it is not cut off. Non only has it been on the whole time, but to make certain I went myself and turned it on.

A. Then there must have been another supply. I had one supply cut off. I can

shew

you where the main was cut.

Q.-That is what the Contractor says, there were three stand pipes; you cut off two and he gave you $100 not to cut off the other.

A.-I never received $100, nor one cent, and I did not know there was more than one supply.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-But was it not your duty to know?

down.

A.-Well, that is so, but I don't go every day to buildings that are being pulled

Q. What are your duties?

A. To look after the water-works

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Well, you don't look after them?

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-It is within a yard of Queen's Road. It is just the same tap which has been in the place; it is now in the place the Contractor has built as a sort of office for himself. This man stated positively that you received $100 from him.

A.-Well, it is not so; I never received $1.

Q-I must say the finding of the water taken in connection with his story looks very bad.

A. Well, I have no business to go through building after the supply is cut off. I don't deny there is the supply, as you have seen it, but I have never received any money. The man has never spoken to me. I think his foreman was there when it was cut off. I thought once there was another supply when there was a leakage in Messrs. SIEMSSEN's house, but I had that opened and found it was the same.

Q.-Well, there is the statement of the case. The man says he gave you $100 not to cut off the water, and there is the water running now.

A.-Well, I distinctly say no, and I don't think the man can say to my face he paid that.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-But it is your duty to cut off the water supply of a house that is pulled down.

A. If I find they use it for building purposes I cut it off. There is no specia regulation for me to cut it off unless I see it being used for building purposes.

1

(187)

Q.-That is just what the man is using it fór.

A.-I have not seen it.

Q.-But

you ought to have seen it.

A.-But suppose I have not seen it, because of the place it has been found in.

Q.-You don't apprehend the serious position you are in. Here is a statement that the Contractor gave you $100 not to cut off the water which he wanted for building purposes, and here is the other fact, that you have not cut it off.

A.—I have cut off one supply.

Q.—There has been a duty neglected and there is the statement you received $100 for neglecting it.

A.-I deny the statement about the $100, and say I cut off one supply and did not know there was another. The Inspector of Buildings, if he sees it, he lets me know.

Q.-But there are two; there is a supply for each house.

A.—I did not know there were two supplies. There are many houses that are supplied from the same pipe. I tried to ascertain, but I did not find it. You may not know the extent of my duty; I have a great deal to do, and I have never been told to go into every house; I have not time..

Q.-Don't

A. Yes.

you know the water that is laid on in each house?

Q.-Then how was it you did not know there was water in these houses?

A.-I have the numbers of houses to which water has been laid in since I returned

to the service.

Q.-Then you don't know all the houses that have supplies?

A.-I know they have supplies, but I don't know from what source.

Q.-But is it not your duty to know?

A.-It would take me five years.

-You seem to have assumed these two had one supply. Why so?

A.-Because this was the only supply I could find.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-It was very obvious to every one but yourself.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Then you think if you cut off one supply that is enough? Now, I have two supplies in my house, and if the Post Office were sold to-morrow you would cut off one supply and take no trouble to find out whether there was another?

A.-Well, that is a Government building. I would know the supply.

Q.—But on your own showing you don't seem to have taken any trouble to find out what water supply there was then.

A.-Well, it may appear so to you.

( 188 )

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.--Are there more supplies than one to a house?

Hon. A. LISTER.—According to the Contractor's statement there were three pipes for the two houses; two were cut off and one remains which I think would be in the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank side.

WITNESS.-You may not understand me.

You speak about cutting off the pipes.

I never cut the pipes; I simply disconnect the supply pipe from the main, and whatever they have done, if I did not find the pipe, if you think it should have been my duty, very well. I don't think it was, but I should like to hear the man say he gave me $100. I never spoke to him. Why should he give me $100? He could get it much cheaper from boats. The man is not so foolish.as to give me $100.

Hon. A. LISTER.-—In a big building like that, which is going to take three years?

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-The $100. would soon go in water in three years' work.

WITNESS.-I did not inquire how long it would take to build, but whatever neglect of duty you may think there has been on my part, I have never received $100; but I think you will find from my chief I have not time to

into go every house.

Hon. A. LISTER.-If you have not time to do your duty you should report it. The Government evidently relied on you to cut off that water.

WITNESS.-Well, I did cut off one.

Hon. A. LISTER.-Very well, that will do.

LAM SU, clerk in the Public Works Department, is examined,—

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-What are your duties in the Public Works Department? ̧•

A.-Copying things, and sometimes translating.

Q.-Letters, I suppose?

A.-No, specifications.

Q.-Do you copy no letters?

A. Sometimes when a clerk has too much to do I assist him.

Q.-The other clerk who copies is CHAN FUK. I think, is he not? Most of the copying is done by him?

A. Yes, most of the letters.

W

Q.-And when he has too much to do you help him?

A. Yes, and KAM CHU-SHEUNG too.

Q.-Don't you sometimes write out bills for these Contractors?

A.-Never,

( 189 ).

Q.-None at all?

A.--During the last five years I don't think I have made out more than five or

six bills.

Q.-Were these long bills or short bills?

A. I cannot remember.

Q.

Do you write the same sort of hand as Mr. PRICE? Do you copy his hand?

A. How do I know?

Q.-Mr. CHAN FUK writes so much like him you can hardly tell one from the

other?

A.-How do I know?

Q.-I see some clerk's hand-writing in a great many of the bills; whose hand- writing is that?

A.-KAM CHU-SHEUNG'S.

--Is that KAM CHU-SHEUNG'S writing? (shewing document).

A. Yes.

Q.-That also is KAM CHU-SHEUNG's writing, is it not? (Shewing another document).

A.-I cannot tell whether it is his or CHAN FUK'S.

Q.-They write alike?

A.-A little.

Q.-I would like you to be quite plain and straight-forward. When these Con- tractors asked you to write out five or six bills for them, which it was not your duty to do, did they offer you any money?

A.-No; I only made one or two a year.

.—But it is not your business any more than mine. Did they not offer you any little present for your trouble?

-

A. Yes, sometimes in the Autumn festival two or three sent me boxes of cakes; not all of them, only two or three.

Q-Was this for making out bills?

A.-I can't tell. I did not do much work for them. I thought it was only for keeping up the festival custom.

Q.-Well, we are told there is a custom in the Public Works Department that these bills are written by the clerks at a charge of about one per cent on the amount collected. Do you know anything about that?

A.---No.

( 190 )

Q-Nothing at all?

A.-No; I never made more than three or four bills.

Q.- -Do you see the bills? Do they go through your hands?

A. No, never.

Q.-You have nothing to do with them?

A-Nothing.

Q. Do you know at all how Mr. FRASER-SMITH, of the Telegraph Office, got copies of certain letters, with the numbers and dates from the Public Works Department?

A.-I know he has got some information.

Q.-Do you know how he got that information?

A.—I heard something about it, that some one furnished him with information by copying letters.

Q. Do you know who gave him that information?

A.-No, I don't know.

Q. Do you suspect any one of having given him that information?

A.-No. I cannot say I suspect any one. I knew nothing about that letter until

the case came on.

+

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Do you know Mr. FRASER-SMITH?

A.—No, not at all.

Q.-Not by sight?

A.--Only once, when I visited a friend at Wan-tsai, my friend pointed him out.

Q. -You have never spoken to him?

A.-Never.

Q.-Did you make out the bills you say you wrote in the Office or at home?

A.-At home. The man came to me and said, "I am in a great hurry; you must do one or two things for me."

Q.--And you have on no one single occasion received any money from a Con-

tractor for making out his bill?

A.-No.

Q.-Quite sure?

A.-Sure.

Q.-You need not be afraid of stating the fact, because you were doing work outside your office hours. Perhaps you thought you were justified in taking a small present.

A.-No; not at all. I said I made out four or five, but in reality I can't remember.

( 191 ).

KAM CHU-SHEUNG is examined,-

-Hon. A. LISTER.-Are you a clerk in the Public Works Department?

A. Yes.

Q. What are your duties? Q.-What

A.-Translating and interpreting.

Q.-And copying?

A.-Sometimes.

Q.-Just look over that file of bills and tell me if any

writing?

A. Yes, three.

of them are in your hand-

Q.—I suppose you make out a good many bills for these Contractors, don't you?

A.-Not many. I don't know how many,

Q.-But there are three there. Now, can you give me some idea how many bills you write for them in a week?

A.-I do it at night time. I think sometimes one and sometimes more.

-In a month?

A.-May be four or five, or six or seven, and some months I have not got any.

Q.- -We have been told the Contractors have to pay a small amount for having these bills copied out for them. We don't want to make a serious business out of it if they have, because it is not your work, and I dare say you thought you might as well do it as anyone else. Now, tell us frankly what has been the custom about making these bills. You don't do it for nothing, do you?

A.-They don't pay me any money.

Q.-Don't say they don't because you are frightened, it is very different from taking money to neglect your duty. If a man came to me and said he wanted a lot of writing done I should probably say. "Well, you must pay for it." Now has it not been the custom to pay small sums for the writing out of these bills? I wish you would be quite frank.

A. It is only because he knows me as a friend he comes and asks me, and then I

do it for him.

Q.-But you don't mean to say you do all that for nothing?

A.-I never ask him.

Q-But according to Chinese rules of politeness it would not do to let you do all that work for nothing, would it?

A.-At festival time they give me some little presents.

(192)

Q.-And this comes to about one per cent on the amount of the bill, does it not?

A.-As a compensation for my trouble in making out the bill, they give me a small present of two fowls, sometimes some cakes; some people none.

Hon. A. LISTER.-Well, but to have again and again in the course of months to write out bills as long as this!

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You don't mean to say you do this for a fowl once a year. Look at that long bill. There are more than three here; let us go through them.

Seven bills in witness' hand-writing are found in the bundle. He explains that he thought they were duplicates.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Seven bills in one month! Now do you mean to say you take all that trouble for nothing?

A.-I don't take anything.

Q.-We have got it in evidence you do.

A.-Well, sometimes in a year they go and buy the paper themselves or give me a dollar and ask me to go and buy it.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Where were you educated?

A. In the Central School.

Q.-Now, in the course of this inquiry, although we have not looked into the bills to any great extent I may say I have seen fifty bills in your hand-writing.

hand-writing. Now, don't you think it would be much wiser for you to say, what you are perfectly entitled to say, "I do; I write these bills for these men; it is not my business; if they want it done they must pay me for doing it, just the same as they pay for their clothes or food." I think you are quite entitled to take up that position, and say it is not your work, as it certainly is not your work. Whether you can be allowed to go on doing it is another question, but we are not going to make a charge against you. To be paid for doing work is a very different thing from taking money for neglecting your duty.

A.-They request me to do it, and I do it.

They don't give me any money at all.

take this labour, which must come to

Q.-You cannot expect us to think you some hours' work, just out of good nature? Now, you know perfectly well that in all these things Chinese arrange a custom. They say the custom is so and so. Now I should

like you to tell us what the custom is in this case. We are told it amounts to about one per cent on the amount of the bill, given partly in presents and partly in money. We have one man who comes and tells us he gave you $5 in money, and presents amounting to three or four dollars more. We have no objection to your receiving these presents if you will only be frank about it.

A.-I supplied the paper, and it may be for the ink, paper, and pen, and being at night time I want oil. That is what he paid me for.

Y

( 193 )

-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Then why did you say just now you received nothing?

A.-He said it was for paper.

-Hon. A. LISTER.-That is a pretty way of phrasing it, just as you say you give a man money to buy tea.

A.-But one per cent would be a very good thing to me.

Q.—Then it is true, is it, that he gave you $5, and three or four dollars' worth of presents besides ?

A. Yes, one of them.

year.

Q.-Well, of course you can call it paper, but $5 worth of paper You could not expend $5 worth of paper in a very long time.

A.-It was at Christmas time, I think.

would last

you a

Q.—But the man said this: the percentage is not exactly one per cent, sometimes it is six-tenths, sometimes seven-tenths, and sometimes as much as one per cent. Now is it correct that it is towards one per cent?

is all.

A.-Never.

Q.-He said it was six ten cent pieces, or seven, or as much as a dollar. Is that so?

A.-No, never. It was only last year I got a few dollars for buying paper; that

Q.-But do you mean that this one case of $5 is the whole and sole sum you have taken? Do you mean to say you have not taken any other money?

A. Yes.

Q.-You cannot expect us to believe that. Have you written all these scores of bills for $5?

A. It was only last year and a little before I wrote bills for these people. I have been in the department for six years.

Q.-Altogether you have written hundreds of bills.

A.-No.

Q.-Now don't say no. I wonder your own acuteness does not lead you not to say things like that. I have only to go into the Audit Office.

go and produce hundreds of bills?

A.-I did not hear clearly what you said just now.

What will What will you say if I

Q.—I said I have only to go into the Audit Office to find hundreds of bills in your hand-writing. Here are seven in this little packet, and I am sure I have seen fifty

Now I say you have written hundreds of bills, have you not?

more.

A. Yes, in one or two years.

( 194 )

Q.-Now you A.--They came to request me. I refused some of them, but they came and said, "You must do this for me," and so I did it.

don't mean to tell me you have done all that for $5?

Q.—Well, there is not the least objection to that; at least not until it is prohibited. Now tell us fully and plainly, how much have you made a month by writing bills; how

much do you think?

A.--In fact I did not receive any money; only two or three dollars for the paper

and ink.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-We have it in evidence it is a recognised practice to

pay it.

A.-It is no practice. I am surprised to hear that.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-And we are even told this, that not only in the Public Works Department, but in the Architects' offices in the town bills in your hand-writing have been received. Now, mind you, there is not the slightest objection to your having done it, until it is prohibited, but there is a great objection to your saying you have not done it if you have, I wish you would be open with us and tell us about it. I wish you would tell us the exact truth about it.

A.-What truth?

-I wish you would tell us what amount

you, all of you, make by writing these

bills.

A. No amount of money.

Hon. A. LISTER.-No amount of money except what we have found out. I think you may retire.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-It is no use asking you any more questions.

ment?

CHAN FUK is examined,

A

-Hon. A. LISTER.-I think you are chief clerk in the Public Works Depart-

A.-Second clerk.

-At present you are chief copying clerk?

A. Yes.

Q.--You are in charge of the letter books at present?

A. Yes.

Q.-Now, there is a little question which has come up. It has been stated in the course of this inquiry that a great many of the Contractors' bills are made out by clerks in the Public Works Department, I don't pretend to say by which clerks, because you all write so much alike, there is no telling one from another. Now the young gentleman who has just gone away has told us what I can only call a set of very stupid falsehoods.

1

70

( 195 )

He first denied he wrote any bills at all, although there are seven in his hand-writing in that little packet and although I myself have seen I should think fifty, and I am quite sure I have only to go into the next room to find hundreds, and yet he would have us believe he takes all this trouble for nothing. Now, I tried to make him under- stand there is no great objection to his doing it, because it has apparently never been prohibited, and of course if you have taken all this trouble for these people there is no great objection to your being paid for it. If a man writes piles of bills for another man he is entitled to be paid for it. Now, I should like you to tell us the truth. I have greater hopes of you than of KAM CHU-SHEUNG. How long has this gone on and how

much is made?

A.-It has been going on for a long time, how long I cannot tell, because it was before my time, but as to charging the Contractors for the trouble, there is no such thing; they can pay as much as they like. I myself write out bills for Contractors. Sometimes I have received instructions from the Surveyor General to write them out, but as to payment, there is no fixed amount; they can pay as much as they like.

Q.--That is the rule in all Chinese institutions, is it not? In most cases the charges

are not fixed?

A.-They are not fixed, I have done it on many occasions to oblige friends.

-But then I suppose the man feels bound to give you something, supposing he

is not a friend?

A.-Oh, yes.

Q.-Well, in all Chinese arrangements of that kind the thing tends to become a custom. For instance, each man is allowed to fix the postage he will pay; he writes on his letter so much postage; but then a custom grows up, and every one writes pretty nearly the same thing. Now, what is the custom? I suppose there is a custom?

A.—No, as far as I know there is no custom, but I know before my time they paid

five per cent.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Five per cent on the amount of the bill?

A.-That is what I have heard. I cannot vouch for it.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-You never knew a case?

A.-No.

Q.-What is the average amount now, taking one bill with another? Suppose you have a long bill, full of different items, and the total is $500. What would you expect him to pay?

A. He can pay what he likes.

- ?

Q.-But what would he be likely to pay?

A.-Only a few dollars; in $500 say two or three dollars. That is the average, but sometimes they don't pay at all.

( 196 )

Q.-Then how is this given? Is it given always when the bill is finished or at a certain time of the year?

A.-Sometimes when they get the money, sometimes at the end of the year, and sometimes on festival days.

Q.-Partly in money and partly in presents?

A.-Not at the same time. Perhaps at the Autumn festival they present you with

two boxes of cakes and some fowls.

Q.-These are things of trifling value?

A. Yes.

Q. Who has done most of this writing out of bills during the time you have been there, which of the clerks in the Office?

A. Mr. KAM CHU-SHEUNG.

Q. Can you give us some idea how much you have made, taking one month with another, during the time you have been in the Office?

A.-I should say not more than $30 a year.

-$2.50 a month?

A.-Sometimes. They pay as much as they like. It is not very proper for me to you have to pay me so much because your bill amounts to so much. If they give you a $5 note you cannot ask for more.

say,

more

Q.-You say you have made $2.50 a month?

A. Yes; I have very little time.

-I infer KAM CHU-SHEUNG must have made much more, because he has written

than you have?

A.-I can assure you most of the Contractors do not pay him.

Q.-But why don't they pay him? Is he so good-natured, or are they so ill- natured?

A. Well, for friendship. It seems rather mean to ask a man for money.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-But it is not mean to take it?

A.-Well, it is mean to ask for it.

Q.-Is it not mean to ask him to do all this work and not give him anything for it?

A.-No.

Q-Is a man to do all this for nothing? Just look at these bills and see how much he has done in that one month. That is the case with every months' bills. Do you expect me to believe all these bills are made out for nothing?

No answer.

1

( 197 )

Q. Hon. A. LISTER.-Would these Contractors have any difficulty in getting people outside the Public Works Department to make out their bills for them?

A.-I think so, because in making out these bills it requires a man who knows the technical names.

Q.-Quite so. Now these Contractors complain a good deal of delay in the pay- ment of their bills. They say their bills are sometimes not paid at all promptly. One of them says he has been kept waiting eight, nine, and ten months, and sometimes as much as a year. Do you know why it is they are kept waiting? Why are the bills kept back?

A. That I don't know.

Q.-Can you tell us in whose hands they are kept back. The Overseer first initials the bills, then Mr. BOWDLER, then they seem to get into the hands of Mr. PRICE. Now where does the delay take place?

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Do they pass through your hands?

A. Yes.

Q.-Here, there is this bill (produced) signed by Mr. BOWDLER on the 20th Sep- tember and not paid till the 20th November. How long does it stop in your office?

A.-This bill stayed in my office 20 days.

Q.-Why did it stay there 20 days?

A.-Because it is the rule for the Surveyor General to pass bills once a month,

that is on the 10th of each month.

Q.-Does it ever stop in your office for more than a month?

A.-No.

Q. Hon. A. LISTER.-That is, small bills, I suppose

A.-No, all bills.

Q.-But there are some you pass at once?

A.-They are contract bills; I am speaking of measured work and small bills.

Q.-But is a bill not kept waiting also because you have not requisitioned for sufficient money?

A.-Sometimes we are kept waiting for that.

Q.-You have no money

?

A.-Sometimes no money and sometimes no authority.

Q.-Is not a bill kept waiting sometimes because a work has cost more than it was estimated, and for that reason there is not sufficient money?

A.-I don't know any case of that sort.

(198)

Q.-You are now in charge of the letter books are you not?

A. Yes.

Q.-You have probably formed some idea of how Mr. FRASER-SMITH got possession of copies, dates, and numbers of a whole string of Mr. PRICE's letters, because he was enabled to write to the Colonial Secretary and ask for them. Have you formed any idea how he got this?

A.-I have not formed any idea.

Q.-It was not in your time?

A.-Not in my time.

Q.-But how, should you think? You must have formed some idea about it. We know he cannot read through a brick wall. How could he have got these letters ?

A.—I don't know.

Q.-Is the same loose system going on now that Mr. GOULBOURN told us about, that the letter books are not under lock and key, and are there at all hours to go and look at?

A.-Exactly the same.

Q.-Is it not the fact that Mr. PRICE stays till six o'clock sometimes working in

his office?

A. Yes.

Q.-And during that time the outer office is open ?

A. That I don't know.

Q.—But it would be left open naturally for him to get in and out?

A. That is only his office.

Q.-But I am speaking of the room where you sit.

A.-When I leave the office the office coolie cleans it and shuts it.

Q.-But still, while the office coolie is cleaning it anybody going in could look at the letter books very easily, could he not?

A. Yes.

Q.-And I suppose also anyone connected with the department, whether Overseer or anyone else, could remain in that room; the coolie would not say, what are you doing here? he would let him pass?

A. Yes.

-Who has custody of the letter books?

A.-I have.

Q.-What do you

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do with them? Are you in the office pretty well all day?

A.-I am always in the office.

—And what do you do with them at night?

A.-Leave them on the desk.

Q.-You don't put them into any case?

A. We have book-shelves, and all the books are on the shelves.

Q.-Who could have access to these books, do you think?

A.-No one is supposed to have access to them except myself.

Q. When could they have access to them?

A.--It must be before ten or after four, or when my back is turned. I may be in the Surveyor General's Office.

-But no one would attempt to go and look at your books while you were there. Suppose you come back?

A.-I should check him.

.—Then it must have been in the morning or late at night. Would the Overseers have had time to go and take these copies? It is impossible. It must have been some one who had possession of the books for sometime?

A. Yes.

Q.-Who is there in the department who would have been able so to open the letter book as to pick out specific numbers? It could not be any one but some one who

knew where to look for these books.

A.-Every one knows where to find the book.

-But suppose the letter is numbered 101 or 160, they could not look carefully through all these books?

A. They could go and look at the index book.

Q.-Would they see then the character of the letter and what was in it?

A.-Only the purport of the letter.

-Hon. A. LISTER.—I believe, though, the drafts are also put into a clip?

A.-Yes.

Q.-And the last one would be on the top?

A. Yes.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Do you know Mr. FRASER-SMITH?

A.-I know him by sight.

1:

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Q.-Have

A.-No.

you never spoken to him?

Q.-I suppose in the case of a small bill it would be in your power to let it lie there and not pass it to Mr. PRICE; you might forget it?

A.—No, it could not stop there, because I have a certain place for bills.

Q.-But if you wished you could keep a bill back?

A.-Oh yes, and not only I but any one, because the bill does not go through my hands only.

Q.-You mean to say any Officer of the department?

A.—I don't say any Officer, but certain Officers.

Q.-Any Officer through whose hands the bill passes could if he pleased stop it?

A. He could.

Q.-Have you ever heard of cumshaws being given by Contractors to Officers for pushing on their bills on making things pleasant?

A.-No. I have never heard of that.

Q. Hon. A. LISTER.There is one other point on which you could perhaps give us some information-the Overseers. It is widely said they receive presents of consider- able value from the Chinese Contractors to make themselves generally agreeable, to make things go smoothly. Do you know anything about that?

A.-I don't know that myself.

Q.-You have heard it I suppose?

A.--I have heard it, but if I don't know a thing, of course I don't want to say I

know it.

Q. Do you know if

any of the Contractors lend money to the Overseers?

A.-No. I have never heard of

any.

Q-Have any of the Overseers to your knowledge a share in the Contractors'

business?

A.-It is impossible for me to say, because I don't know it.

Q.-You have never heard of any case of an Overseer receiving presents?

A.-I have seen things presented to the Overseers, I think once every year, at

Christmas.

Q.-Valuable presents?

A.-Only fowls and legs of mutton and things, of that kind.

Q.—But several gentlemen have told us plainly that much more valuable presents than that had been given. Major MULLOY tells us he was offered, when he first came to the Colony, a valuable gold scarf ring set with diamonds, and bronze vases inlaid with

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silver. Mr. LEIGH found $300 in notes left on his table. These gentlemen come forward frankly and say, "Yes, I was offered these things; I did not take them." Well, if the Contractors would offer things like that to people in the position of Major MULLOY and Mr. LEIGH Would they not be much more likely to offer them to people in the posi-

tion of foremen?

A. That I don't know.

Q.-But what do

you think?

very likely.

A.-Well, I think it is

-Did you ever hear about that $300 that was found on Mr. LEIGH's table?

A.-Never. This is the first time I have heard of it.

Q.-Mr. LEIGH said he found out who it came from, and he sent it back. Did not all the department know of it?

A.—I don't think it was at the time he was in the Surveyor General's Department.

Hon. A. LISTER.-Yes, it was. Very well, you have given us some valuable information about the bills, and I am very much obliged to you. I hope you will try to make your two colleagues understand we should have respected them very much more if they had done so.

The Commission adjourns.

FIFTEENTH MEETING.

1st February, 1884.

Present: The Honourable A. LISTER, Treasurer.

29

F. B. JOHNSON.

Mr. A. SETH, of the Colonial Secretary's Office, is examined,-

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-We want, Mr. SETH, if possible, to get some light as to how certain letters got into the hands of Mr. FRASER-SMITH. You have been long connected with the Colonial Secretary's Department, and we thought perhaps you could give us some idea how they could have escaped?

1

A.-My idea is the information could not have been given from the Colonial Se- cretary's Office; first, because from the way the letters were quoted they were evidently quoted by a person unacquainted with the practice in the Colonial Secretary's Office. For instance, if we wanted to quote a letter from any department we would quote our own number, Colonial Secretary's Office, No. so and so, whereas from what I have seen the numbers of these letters were those in the Surveyor General's Office, so I think it could not have come from any one acquainted with the practice of the Colonial Secretary's Office.

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Q. It would not have been possible for any outside person to have acquired this information unless some person inside well acquainted with the letter books had given

information?

A.-Certainly not.

Q. What did Mr. SMITH actually apply for?

(Letter of application produced).

Q.—Hon. A. LISTER.-But, Mr. SETH, I observe here the Colonial Secretary's Office number is really 84; it is the Colonial Secretary's number.

A.-Well, I have not looked at it, but from what I saw of it I thought not.

The letters are examined, and the witness points out that what was applied for was, the Colonial Secretary's Official letter, No. 84.

-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Then that would go to show it was received from the Colonial Secretary's Office?

A.-No, because that number would refer to a letter written from the office, not a

letter received.

Q.-Do you know anything about the working of the Surveyor General's Office as to the way the books are kept?

A.-No. I have had a glance at them.

Q.-Then as a matter of fact this letter could be communicated from the Colonial Secretary's Office or the Surveyor General's Office?

A. Yes, but an Officer here would quote, Colonial Secretary's Office, so and so. To quote it in this way shews it must have been some one outside.

Q.--Hon. A LISTER.-Your idea is simply from the quoting?

A. Just so.

Hon. A. LISTER.-Well, I don't think we need dwell much on that.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-I don't think you have seen this letter (Mr. Fraser- SMITH'S letter asking for Governor HENNESSY's despatches on the Public Works Department). How could he have obtained that information?

A.-I don't know.

Q. Are these letters published?

A.-No.

Hon. A. LISTER.-I am told there are no such despatches.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Don't you recollect at the time of Captain THOMSETT'S little difference with the former Governor, Sir JOHN HENNESSY, it was stated that Sir JOHN HENNESSY had himself supplied these papers to Mr. FRASER-SMITH, or that they were supplied by his order? Do you know anything about that?

A.-No.

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Q.Never heard of it?

A. No.

Q.--Did you ever have any communication with Mr. FRASER-SMITH by order of

Sir JOHN HENNESSY?

Şir

A. Yes.

Q.--Did you supply him with any papers or documents?

A.-No; the only communication I had with him was in connection with the first publication of his Directory. I was asked to revise the list of Officers and the index to the Ordinances.

Q.-You have never supplied any papers from this office or any subject whatever to the Telegraph by direction of Sir JOHN HENNESSY?

A.-No; not to my

recollection.

Q.-Well, but surely you would remember.

A.-Well, if I had been ordered I think I should have recollected it.

-How many times do you think you had communication?

A. I think only about the Directory. I don't remember having had nication with him on any other matter.

any.commu-

Q.- -Have you ever supplied Mr. FRASER-SMITH with documents without orders?

A.-No.

Q.

-Have you supplied him with information on the affairs of the Colony?

A.-No.

Hon. A. LISTER.-I have ascertained that information about Captain THOMSETT was supplied to SMITH by Dr. EITEL at Sir JOHN HENNESSY's request, by his direction. Dr. EITEL has told me he himself was ordered by Governor HENNESSY to take this

information.

know.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-I heard it had been supplied, and I thought Mr. SETH might

WITNESS.-No.

Hon. A. LISTER.-Dr. EITEL cannot afford any information about this other matter.

(The Honourable the Attorney General, who has been absent up to this time, here takes the chair).

Hon. J. M. PRICE, Surveyor General, is examined,—

Hon. A. LISTER.-I think we have now pretty much exhausted all the evidence there is any use in taking, and we want you to be kind enough, if you please, Mr. PRICE, to give us your opinion on the general situation, as we seem to have established it, to be, and first of all as to the foremen that are occupied in looking after works. The evidence would seem to point to this, that the best foremen in the Colony are those.

4

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employed by the Royal Engineers, who are said to be a superior set of men, that the next best are those employed by the Government, and then a still worse class are employed by private architects. Would you be inclined to agree with that?

A.-Hardly, because I have had foremen from the Royal Engineers and I have had to turn them away.

-But then you got their leavings?

A.-No, time-expired men, who have been highly recommended to me, but of course it is a question of individual merit. You can't apply it to a class. I think I have one or two foremen much better than anyone in the Royal Engineer Department now, and some considerably worse.

Q.-Then the evidence seems to point to this, that it would seem to be almost useless to attempt to detect individual instances of bribery amongst these foremen. All the witnesses we have examined seemed to be of opinion that to some extent there would always be more or less opportunities of bribery from Contractors to foremen, but that it is possible to strike at the root of the practice by taking away from the foremen (on this point there has a singular unanimity of opinion) the power of measuring work and recommending payments. All of the witnesses without exception recommended that a skilled measurer should be employed, a well-paid man whom you could trust, whọ should have little or nothing else to do than to measure work and certify to the amount of work that had been done, and to give the Chinese Contractors a document which would either form their bill or the basis of their bill. Could you come into that re-

commendation at all?

A.—I am fully alive to the importance of a suggestion of that kind, and I have often thought how it could be accomplished. The difficulty which besets the scheme is that work is very often excavation, laying of foundations, and all that is very often finished and completed before there would be any opportunity of getting a man to go and verify it, especially in connection with tidal work; an excavation is made, a founda- tion laid, and the thing has to be filled in. I think the proper remedy would be to get honest men. I think you are almost entirely dependent on the honesty of the indivi- duals you employ in contracts. If you had a Clerk of Works to measure every work carried out under the supervision of these other men, he would be very much in their power. He could not measure every hole that is dug, every stone that is laid; he could. not examine the under-surface of masonry to see whether fine dressed or rough-dressed stone was used; he would not be able to see whether pure cement, or mortar, or lime and sand had been used in the crannies. I think it would work back to its present position, and you would have to employ more men to some extent without obtaining any advantage. I am fully alive to the importance of not relying on the man who carries out the work for the passing of the bill, because if that could be done you would strike at the very root of the possibility of corruption, you would exercise à check over the man in charge of the work, and it would make it more difficult for him to connive with the Contractor, but in practice opportunities would be found of getting round that.

¿

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-But although your measuring surveyor might not be able to measure every- thing, still he could measure a great deal, could be not?

A. Yes, he could measure a great deal; he would reduce the risk; he could not abolish it entirely. You must trust to a man if you are carrying out a work. If you put a man in charge you are in his hands.

Q.-Then say there was an exceptional work which required to be measured at once, whereas your measuring surveyor might be at Shau-ki Wan, might it not be possible to send Mr. CRAMP, or Mr. HoWROYD, or someone of that kind, not the overseer,

to measure?

A.-You see he could not go there once; he would have to go there every day as the work progressed. If you were laying a sewer at Shau-ki Wan his trips would be constant. He would have to go and measure the excavation, then the cube of the stone broken for mixing concrete, then to count the barrels of cement used by the Contractor; then he would go and measure the granite used. It is not as though he could make one trip and finish the whole thing. The supervision of the work would then practically devolve on him and the Overseer would take a back place. The real remedy for the whole of this thing is to do everything as much as possible by contract.

Q.-Is not the measuring surveyor a practice of the Royal Engineers?

A. Yes, but I don't think there is any analogy between their procedure and ours. I dont suppose they have, what shall I say, one fiftieth of the work we have. With them I dare say it would be possible; with us I fear it would not. It is a matter I have considered before now, and if I have not adopted it I can assure the Commission it is because I have not seen my way to doing it.

-Would it be possible to adopt it on trial?

A.-If you could give me three or four Clerks of Works it might be done by peram- bulating ones, measuring every work from day to day as it went on.

But it is very important to bear this in mind; it cannot be done by one inspection; it must be continuous.

-But would you want more than one well-paid man, a man like Mr. ORANGE?

A.-It must be a practical man. No engineer would do that work. You don't want a professional man; you want men like CRAMP or HoWROYD. There is a vast difference, a gulf, between the two.

Q-Well, getting the best man, would you want more than one more than you have now?

A. Yes, two or three, I think.

Q.-Then we come to another point which is really connected with this. Could any plan be devised which would take away from the Overseer the

power

of recommend-

( 206 )

ing advances? I take it at present the Overseer brings the Contractor to you and has more or less in his hands the power of recommending that such a man should get an advance of $1,000.

A.--But they have not that power. They may imagine they have. I am always very willing to hear what they have to say or what they have to recommend, and they are all very full of recommendations, but I can assure you it has not the least influence on me. I never make any advance without going to see what proportion of the work in relation to the whole has been finished, and I recommend on that basis.

Q.-You go yourself?

A. Yes, or send the Deputy Surveyor General. I make an exception at China New Year when the men are all wanting their money, but I always retain a certain proportion of the amount due to them in hand in accordance with the terms of the Government contracts.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.--You appear to me to have shown the great difficulties in the way of appointing a measuring Surveyor, but at the same time you have also shown there is a great field for bribery if these men whom you describe are left entirely without any supervision.

A.--Yes, unquestionably.

Q.-They not only, according to the account you have given, appear to be left almost wholly alone with regard to the character of the work

A.-No.

Q.-Wait a minute. But also as to the amount of the work, and then the making of the bills. If there is no superintendence over what they do but that which you and Mr. BOWDLER can give them, it seems to me it is necessary there should be some one else under you who would help you to supervise these men?

A.-But I don't admit your premises.

Q.-If these men appointed to superintend the work cannot do it, because it is too great, how can you and Mr. BOWDLER do it?

A.-It is not superintending. Mr. LISTER did not make use of that word--it is measuring.

Q.-But you made use of the word superintend. You said, "How can a man who goes round ascertain the character of the concrete and so on?" But that is not the work he is supposed to do. The difficulty we have is as to settling the account for work absolutely done. Is it not possible for a man with four coolies to go round every day and measure, where there are works going on requiring measurement, unless they are very far distant?

A.-Oh yes, it might be done, but he could not go out of the town. He would have to be all day going about.

}

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Q. -Have you' works requiring measurement all day?

A.—Yes; if you are making a sewer you go on with ten feet and it is covered up and then you go in with another ten feet. Unless the man were there before the work was filled in he would not have an opportunity of measuring.

-What is the provision now with the Overseers?

A.-If the work is of any moment a rough plan is made, and the specification is made out, and it is the duty of the Overseer to see the work is carried out according to the terms of the specification.

Q.-That is as far as regards the character of the work?

A.-Yes.

Q.-But if you can estimate the quantity of work before-hand, surely you can measure it afterwards. I understand the Clerk of Works prepares an estimate of expenses placed in the specification. When this work is completed it is as easy to measure it then as before?

}

A.-It is out of sight perhaps.

Q.-Then when does the measuring take place? By whom is it checked, as it

stands now?

A.-Either by myself or the Assistant Surveyor General. Take the case of a retaining wall. You build a certain amount of masonry and you fill in behind with earth. Unless the officer whom you choose to name the measuring surveyor were then before the earth was filled in he would not be able to see what the nature of the foundations was. Therefore I think he would have to rely greatly on the honesty of the Overseer in charge to see that the terms of the specification were complied with. Therefore I say if he has to take much for granted from the Overseer it is equivalent to the present system.

Q.-Then does this man bring you the measurements every day?

A.-No.

Q.-Then why should he superintend the measuring?

A.It is not bringing it to me, but he must be there to see it done. It is the Overseer's duty to see that the dimensions marked out in the plan are complied with, to see that the terms of the specification are carried out. If there is any deviation he

reports to me.

Q. How is the bill made out afterwards, on what basis?

A.-On the original specification, and if there any extra works are needed, it then becomes the duty of the Overseer to report to me, and I order these extra works.

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-But evidence was given by the Clerk of Works, who said he had to measure. There seemed something to be done afterwards, some measuring?

A.-That is principally house work.

Q.-That could be done by the Clerk of Works?

A.-It is now. The Overseers have nothing to do except with roads, streets, and

sewers.

Q.-It is the business of the Clerk of Works then?

A. Yes.

HoWROYD and CRAMP; there are two.

Q.-Mr. BowDLER drew our attention to the fact that the men who do this measuring work are men who are not competent to do it, and they have every induce- ment offered them, when the work is done, to make out the bills for the Contractors

and that they are paid for it; and that has been repeated to us by almost every

one.

A.—Of course not knowing your evidence I cannot give an opinion upon it.

Q.-It does seem to me it is leaving a very great power in the hands of these Overseers, who are, according to all accounts, not men who could be relied upon, when the question of the amount of work done is dependent on them.

A.-I don't know how you arrive at such a notion, because it is opposed to facts. There is supervision. I cannot say it is close supervision, owing to press of work,

Q.-Well, would not the appointment suggested stop that?

A.—I would say appoint him, but I don't think he could cover the whole ground. You would have to rely on him and he would have to rely on the Overseers.

Q.—The private Architects say they never allow their Overseers to measure work; they do it themselves. In the Government Department there appears to be no such check.

A.-There is so little measured work in the Government Department. It is only when we cannot do a thing by contract that we fall back on measured work.

Q.-There is a great deal of measured work though?

A.-Well, that work is measured by two Clerks of Works, who are a grade above Overseers. There are no Overseers in connection with house repairs. For instance, as a rule all public buildings are in charge of two Clerks of Works personally responsible for the work done in them. There are eighty, forty of which are in HoWROYD's charge and forty in CRAMP's, and they are responsible for all work in the shape of maintenance and repairs carried out in those buildings.

Q.-But is there not a large amount of work done in your Department which is exclusively or almost so in the hands of the foremen, whose certificate as to the character of the work and amount is deemed sufficient for payment?

A.-No, not without supervision. Certainly there is room for dishonesty. They have opportunities. I don't see how you could meet that by the appointment of one measuring officer.

:

J

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-On the ground that there is too much work for him to do?

A.-I think he would have to trust so much to the men in charge.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-But measured work being reduced as much as possible, and everything done by contract whenever possible, would not then one man be able to look after the remainder, the small amount of work that happened to be left?

A.-It is now. You cannot reduce measured work to smaller dimensions than it is

now. Just conceive the difference to myself and the Officers of my department between contract work and measured work. In the one case you make a contract for a lump sum. The man finishes, gets his $1,000 or whatever the amount may be, and there is no trouble. In the case of measured work there is a great deal of labour and drudgery; the foundations have to be excavated and measured, and the foundations have to be laid and measured and inspected. In the case of drains the drain has to be filled in and the amount calcu- lated for the filling in, so that really on selfish grounds one would never encourage measured work in preference to contract work, which gives you no trouble whatever.

Q.-But yet there is so much measured work left that one man would not be able

to see to it ?

A.-I think so. The measured work is in reality restricted to drains and all under- ground work. That is really the only branch of the department where we cannot tell what money it is going to cost us, because we may go through soft earth or through granite, and if it is earth it is paid at so much, if granite at so much, and you cannot give an estimate before-hand.

ern?

Q.--Could two men do it, one taking the Eastern district and the other the West-

A. Yes, that might do.

Q-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-And would not that tend to lessen the number of men employed as Overseers?

A.—Well, you would not pay them to supervise works.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-We have been told there have been rumours about in the Colony, vague rumours, as to the dishonesty of the Overseers; that it is said by people, who don't give particulars, that they have opportunities of getting squeezes and so on; and one or two witnesses, if I remember rightly, told us they attributed these rumours to their peculiar position, that is to say, the peculiar nature of the duties, and the oppor- tunities which that position offers to the Overseers for corruption. Well, they have explained to us in evidence that, with reference to all the Government works, contract or quality, the same man who supervises the carrying out of the work from day to day, and who is in daily contact with the Contractor, is the man, and the only man, who certifies to the amount of work done. That is so, is it not?

A.-No; it is totally incorrect.

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-What is correct?

A.-I certify to the amount of work done, or the Assistant Surveyor General. I pass no bill on the Overseer's signature. No bill can be found in the Audit Office that has been passed by me on the ipse dixit of the Overseer.

Q.-They said with regard to quality it is quite possible for a superior Officer making his rounds to see at a glance whether that work is up to standard or not, but with regard to quantity it requires an operation, is that correct?

A.-That is correct certainly. I should think it would be. I have an approxi- mate idea of cube, but I certainly would not like to certify to any bill without putting a tape line over the work.

Works?

.-Do you perform that operation with regard to all quantities in the Public

A.-No; I allow that to be performed entirely by Overseers with reference to advances on the contract. I take very little care about advances on contract, because I know I am keeping a sufficiency behind, and the thing will square itself when the last payment is made.

Q.-But you have to be satisfied certain quantities of work have been done, you take the certificate of the Overseer to that effect?

A.-On contract works, yes.

-And he is the person who has to watch the work and is in contact with the Contractor from day to day?

A. Yes.

Q.-Well, with regard to measured work what is the case? Whose certificate is

taken then?

A.-The work in progress, which is principally excavation, is inspected either by myself or the Assistant Surveyor General.

Q.-Yes; but I mean when it is paid for by the quantity?

A.--In respect of measured work there is generally, in seven cases out of eight, a rough plan and specification. That rough plan specifies the length, and it is easy to check by superficial measurement the length, but as regards depth I have to trust to the Overseers that the specification has been complied with.

Q.-Well, with regard to that, say 5 feet of concrete has been provided for. You can see at a glance they have done 5 feet of length, but you have to trust to the supervision that the 5 feet in depth has been done?

A.-Not entirely, because I go round a great deal and at irregular intervals, and if any thing goes wrong it might escape detection once, twice, or three times, but it is bound to come out in the end.

·

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Q.-Quite so; but not speaking about the future, but what has been said with regard to these men-with regard to measured work, though they are liable to have a check, a surprise check, placed upon their calculation and reports, yet habitually it is upon the Overseer's report as to quantity done that a payment is made. I mean that the Overseer, who sees the work, and who is in contact with the Contractor, is the man upon whose certificate as to quantity you must habitually act?

A. Yes, I dare say; but of course the inspection is made all the same.

The very fact that they are subject any moment to investigation and inspection is the only safeguard that one has. If I tell a man to dig a trench down a street 4 feet deep he may dig it 3 feet 6 inches. If I don't happen to have inspected it before it is filled in it may escape detection, but the chance that he may be surprised any minute would be likely to make that man carry out his instructions and dig it 4 feet deep.

Q.-I suppose the only distinction between contract work and measured work as regards the certificate is this: contract work is done according to specification and paid for by a lump sum. For instance, you would say, to fill in this room with concrete of a certain quality and place iron props at certain distances, the iron to be of such and such a quality; you pay for that in the lump; but there are certain matters of quantity you would require to be satisfied about. Say that you had provided 24 windows, you would want to see that; that the concrete should be of a certain quality, you would

want to see that?

A. Yes.

-These things have to be certified to before you pay; these are questions of quantity just as much in that as in measured work?

A. Yes, because the thickness of walls and so on is all provided for, but that is principally in buildings, and they are in charge of Clerks of Works.

Q.-Well, don't you think the fact that the same man who is in constant contact with the Contractor is the man who certifies as to quantity, subject of course to casual supervision and the chance of being found out-don't you think that is a position which exposes a man to have this sort of thing said about him?

A.-Certainly I do.

Q.-Well; now for the protection of the officers of your department. I mean for their reputation for the future, for protection from attacks, can you suggest any alteration in that system?

A.-In theory I could make the same suggestion that Mr. LISTER proposed to me just now of having a supervising officer.

Q-But practically?

A. The proposal looks very pretty, but I am afraid in practice that supervising officer would as often as not have to go upon the report given him by the man in charge of the work. I think our remedy is to pay the men a little more and get men of character and integrity.

1

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Q.-Do you think better pay would do it?

A.-Unquestionably I do. What can I do with $50, picking men up from the street. Lately, I assure you, I have given a great deal of thought to this to see how I could purge this department of the obloquy that has been cast on it, merited or unmerited, and I can think of no remedy but that of getting good men. I can devise checks, I can visit works, even out of the town, and I think that, with men of good character, should guarantee that things would be conducted honestly.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-What pay do the Overseers get now?

A.—$60 a month, with an increase of $48 a year until they obtain $100 a month, and there they stop, but none of them have been sufficiently long in the service to get $100.

Q. What would you recommend?

A.-I would give them, I think, $100. I would not give these men much more; I would get good men from England and give them $100.

Q.-And any increase?

A.-I would suggest they be increased $4 every year until they reached $150 a month. I would not give them more than that?

Q.-Then we will pass to another matter. It has been put in evidence that there has been from time to time some delay, or there is alleged to have been some delay in the payment of bills, and it seems there is occasionally some delay, perhaps mostly owing to the cumbrous Government system of audit. Can you suggest any system by which bills could be paid more quickly when all is in order?

A. Certainly, there are delays in consequence of the cumbrous system of Govern- ment payments, as you call it, but I think it is only right to point out that the greater portion of the delays which occur in respect of bills are simply because there is a differ- ence between the price charged by the Contractor and the schedule price. A bill for measured work is a very complicated thing, and sometimes a bill has been written to my. own certain knowledge six times; it has been sent back to be amended. Very often the ground has had to be dug up again owing to questions having arisen.

Q.-I saw a bill for a writing table, I think it was. The entire cost was $30, and the bill was a foot long, Would it not have been very much simpler to have bargained with the man?

A. Unquestionably it would.

-Do you often have bills like that?

A.--No. I dare say you are alluding to the same bill I have in my mind, a bill. for a drawing table for Mr. HANCOCK. I must say in justice to the office I don't think I have seen a more absurd bill than that, though I have been ten years in the office.

( 213 )

Q.-I

may mention that in a code of rules which Mr. MARSH has drawn up, which he was good enough to let me look at, I suggested, and he approved, that instead of these bills being gathered together into a monthly sheaf to be passed through the Audit Office with considerable delay, as soon as you are clear a bill is correct it may be paid at once, without reference to the Audit Office, on your certificate that the bill is correct.

A.-Could you get that accomplished?

Q.-I think so. Do you think that would work?

A.-Think? I would go on my knees to the Commission. I have had as many as 50 bills bound into one sheaf; one has been questioned, say a bill for a drawing table, and that has been sufficient to delay the whole sheaf for three weeks. In the same way with the salaries, if there is any little question about a man's pay, the whole

go without their pay.

staff

Q.-Do you remember a change made in the system of requisitioning by Sir JOHN HENNESSY? Whereas you used to requisition at the end of the month for the money you had expended during the month, you were ordered to requisition a month before?

A.—I always did requisition before; it is in the Treasury Instructions, but if it was necessary I sent in a supplementary requisition.

Q.-And that was what he objected to?

A. Yes.

Q.-Do you find the present system hampers your hands?

A. I am in the hands of the weather in the rainy season. A storm may des- troy four or five thousand dollars' worth of work in a few hours. I find the requisition is insufficient, and I have to send up a supplementary one. I never put in larger sums than I am compelled to. I try to keep it down as much as possible. I take the requi- sition home with me, and one night in the month I review the work of the month, and make a guess, for it is nothing more than a guess, how much money I may require for the coming month. If I have a fine month I am pretty well able to carry out my work for the amount approved. If there is a storm I have to send in a supplementary re- quisition, which Sir JOHN HENNESSY invariably declined to sign. I have had to give up the idea that a stitch in time saves nine. A sewer that might have been repaired for $100 I have had to leave till it cost $1,000, until I could put it in the requisition.

-I suppose you are aware the clerks in your office make out a large number of bills. KAM CHI-SHEUNG seems to write them all, with the exception of a few written by the Contractors themselves, and with some trouble we have extracted from these men a very unwilling admission that they get a sum, which they euphemistically term "to buy paper," but we have found out this amounts, if not quite, to somewhere about

per cent. Don't you think that system should be stopped?

one

A.-I think so.

I did not know they collected anything, but I know they very

( 214 )

often write out bills, and I have often made them do it, because the bills came to me in such jargon I could not understand them, and I have sent for the Contractors to ex- plain them.

Q.-Then you give instructions, but we have it in evidence it has been done because these men could not get any one else who knew so well the technical terms, that it has been done by the clerks as a favour for which they have received money, and some of the private architects tell us the same hand-writing is very often seen in bills sent in to them. I had formed an idea that if this measuring surveyor system could be started, the measuring surveyor could supply a document, probably partly in print, which would form the Contractor's bill without any further making out.

A.—I am afraid the items are so varied you could not have anything in print. You can go back to the old system of making them make out their bills themselves.~ I must take the charge to myself of having made my clerks copy the bills, and I have done it out of consideration to the Audit Office principally. I did it in

I did it in consequence of correspondence with Mr. GARDINER AUSTIN, who wrote me a very severe minute to the effect that the bills were getting worse every day, that they could not understand them, etc., and from that time I have always had the bills copied by the clerks or some of the Overseers, but the Overseers are almost as bad as the Contractors.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Is there any reason why there should be a requisition

at all?

A.-A Treasury instruction.

---But apart from the Treasury instruction, is there any reason why, when a bill is certified as correct in your department, the proper Officer in the Pay Office should not give a cheque at once without passing it through any further forms?

A.-I don't see any. I have served Railway Companies and Dock Companies, and the practice I have always seen obtain in private work is that when a bill is certified by the Surveyor it is taken to the Cashier.

Q.-Is there any reason why that should not prevail in this department?

A. None at all.

You might give an estimate to the Cashier or Colonial Secretary at the begin- ning of the month to give an idea of the money you want, and then it appears to me the bills as they come in, being passed by you, should be paid at once by cheque. Does.. not that seem the simplest way?

A.-I have often regretted it was not the case.

Q.-And if they wanted to audit it they could do so afterwards?

A.—Yes; the very fact of my putting my signature to that bill would make me responsible for the amount. Mr. LISTER will be able to explain better than I can why the present system is in force.

}

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t

( 215 )

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-AS to the abolition of the $100 or $50 which used to be asked for in the advertisement for tenders, which I see you abolished as soon as you came back, was any order given about it, or was it done on your own suggestion?

A.-Oh, yes, there was a Colonial Secretary's Order on the subject.

Q.-For the abolition of that?

A. Yes.. If I may explain to the Commission, I have had one object and one object only in view, and that is to stimulate competition, and I found that was hampered by vexatious restrictions. I wanted to get hold of a lot of respectable Contractors, who would not undertake Government work owing to annoying restrictions, and I knew that the $50 did no good, and simply irritated them. It was no good, and therefore I sug- gested to the Administrator, Mr. MARSH, to have it abolished, and he agreed with me.

Q.--Have you been able to find out anything about the question of that water which was or is still turned on at the Bank, as to whether Rose ever made any report?

A.-No. ROSE made no report; there is nothing in the records of my office.

After

you mentioned the thing privately to me I went down to that work; and I find it is a pipe from SIEMSSEN'S. After the Bank premises were vacated, Rose, in the ordinary prosecution of his duties, cut off the supply; he cut off the Queen's Road supply, and not the supply which passes into the Bank from SIEMSSEN'S.

Q.-Do you as head of the department look upon that as a satisfactory explanation?

A.-I think it would be. I went down, after the conversation with you, and I could not find this thing, and I thought there must be some mistake, and it was only when I got hold of TAI YIK, the Contractor, that I could trace it. It was in the very centre of the work, and we had to go in a round-about way to get at it.

Q.-To see where it came from?

A. Yes. I have tried to investigate that circumstance, and I cannot find anything. They all deny indignantly they ever said so.

Q-I may say the Contractor told me, though he denied it afterwards. You think, then, there is something in Mr. Rose's defence, that he did not know?

A.-I am inclined to think so. I thought at first it was very much as it had been represented to me, but after inspecting the ground and failing myself to find it, I was the more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Q.-You say he cut off the Queen's Road supply?

A. Yes.

Q.-Would that connect with two places, or only one?

A.-Two.

( 216 )

Q.-That agrees with what the Contractor says, that there were three, and Mr. ROSE cut off two and left one. There is a story which was brought before us, which has evaporated into thin air, namely, that Mr. BowDLER's house at the Peak was built for nothing, as a present to him, the consideration being that the Contractor CHAN KING, was to get a lot of work at Tai-tam. We certainly find the house was not built for nothing nor anything like it, but at the same time the man has got $18,000 worth of work at Tai-tam. Had Mr. BoWDLER anything to do with the allotting of that work?

A.-No, nothing. Mind, unless you have positive proof, I think that is too big a pill to swallow. I don't know what your own notion is, but I don't think there would be anything to justify an assumption of that kind.

Q.-Well, I have only one other thing to ask, can you give us any light as to how these papers got into the hands of FRASER-SMITH?

A.—I cannot; I wish I could. It is a thing that has exercised me very much. I don't know whom to suspect.

Q.-Don't you think the system we are told prevails, of having your letter books and drafts of letters open, and not under lock and key, in an ante-room frequented by Overseers and all kinds of people, should be put a stop to?

A.-I cannot help myself; I have no room. I have asked for more room, but cannot get it. Besides, I have no secrets.

Q.-But in this case you had. However, you are in the way I think of having

more room?

A. Yes.

Q.--And at any rate the letter books might be kept under lock and key?

A. Yes, and not only on that account, but I don't think the place where one's books and letters are is the place for an ante-room.

Q-Precisely. But even under this disadvantageous arrangement the letter books and files of drafts might be locked up after office hours?

A. Yes, they might be. I don't think they are locked up in any other office, are they?

Hon. A. LISTER.-I don't think they are. I have always gone on the same prin- ciple as you, of not having any secrets.

WITNESS.-I think if we could arrange to have the Clerks' room not the ante-room we need not lock up.

Q.- -The CHAIRMAN.-With reference to having no secrets, is there any understand.. ing in the office that Clerks should not communicate the contents of documents passing through their hands to any one?

A.-There is no written understanding to that effect.

( 217 )

.—But do you think there is an unexpressed understanding?

Hon. A. LISTER.-There is in the Colonial Office rules.

WITNESS.-But the Chairman was referring to departmental rules.

Hon. A. LISTER.But still these are supposed to apply.

The CHAIRMAN.-I was referring not so much to what is supposed to apply, but to what is actually the case, whether the Clerks in your office understand that.

A. Yes, I think I may safely say they do.

4

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.—If it was understood the man who did it was doing what he knew was wrong, he must have been induced to do what he knew was wrong, whereas if he did not know he was doing what was wrong, he might have been asked to commu- nicate, and seeing no particular harm in it have done it without much persuasion.

A.-I think any man whatever in that Office must know that to reveal the contents of a letter he was never intended to see would be doing what was wrong.

Q. Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-GOULBOURN copied this letter, and on being asked what explanation he could give as to how it got into the possession of Mr. FRASER- SMITH, he said he believed it was in this way, that the ante-room being thronged with Overseers, when he has been out of the room some Overseer has casually read the letter. Now would that Colonial Secretary's Office, No. 84, which SMITH quotes, have been

written on when that draft came out?

A.-No, that would be written afterwards.

Q.-And it is not likely that an Overseer, having his attention casually drawn to the letter, could have taken a copy; the man who has taken it must have done so deli- berately and not by a passing glance?

A. Yes, and your mentioning the Colonial Secretary's Office satisfies me it was given from up there and not from my office. I have my suspicions, and I think I could myself name the person who supplied that letter.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-And you merely keep the draft of a letter to the Colonial Secretary's Office?

A. Yes.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-But the draft is marked too?

A. That is marked afterwards when it is filed.

Q.—Mr. GOULBOURN's explanation was that it might have been done when it was being copied. Now that disproves it?

A.-It does.

(218)

Q.-It must have been the deliberate act of somebody who intended it?

A.-It must. (The witness refers to the letter, and explains that the original came back to his office with minutes written upon it, and that the draft was then numbered to correspond with the number placed in the original in the Colonial Secretary's Office.)

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-There is only one other point I should like to ask you about. There is a continual outcry here about nobody ever seeing the Gazette, nobody reads the Gazette, and so forth. Do you think it would be of any practical service if one of the daily papers, or all of them, could be induced to make and publish weekly a very short summary of the contents of the Gazette, giving all tenders in full, of course without the red tape by which they are surrounded, simply the advertisements for tenders, and dismissing hydrographical notices with a single line, the whole thing occupying half a column?

A.-I think not. I have inquired, and I find my Contractors never see an English daily paper, and for that reason I take the precaution of communicating with the Con-- tractors directly by means of a circular. I don't trust to the papers.

Q.-You would not regard it as an improvement to advertise in the Chinese papers?

A.-I think not.

Q.-You think the circular is everything?

A. Yes. I think I have got all the names of the respectable Contractors, and if any man comes to me for a building permit whose name I have not got, I take his name down, and if I can I give him a contract to see what he is made of.

Q.-Do you know the reason why TAI YIK refuses Government work?

A.-I do. I have had a fight running on for several years. He will not do brick work for less than 15 cents a foot, I will not give more than 10 cents. Besides, the other day I was speaking to him and asked him if he would not put in a tender for Tai-tam, and he told me he had more work than he could possibly attend to; he is in bad health too; and another thing is that he objects to being present at his work; he always does his work by deputy. In our contracts, we compel the Contractor to be present at the work; he does not care for that, he is too well off.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-That about the man being present at his work. I think you told us that, as a common thing, a Contractor having got a contract sublets it?

A. Yes, they branch it in small sub-contracts, but still they should be there to see the work is done according to specification, because we refuse to recognise a sub- contractor. If anything goes wrong we don't know the sub-contractor, we fall back on the man himself. I don't think you can prevent that system in China, it is so general.

Q.-Is that sub-letting in whole or in part?

A.-They let the brick-laying to one, the masonry to another, and so on, but we don't recognise these men; we compel the original men to be there. TAI YIK is a man

3

( 219 )

who never leaves his bed till 12 o'clock, he is an opium smoker, and it would be a great trouble if we had an inspection at six o'clock in the morning. Besides, I think he has more work than he can attend to.

Q.-Have

you tried to find out who communicated that letter to the Editor of the Hongkong Telegraph?

A. Yes, I have made inquiries, but I cannot fix upon anybody.

Q. Can you give us any clue to go upon?

A.-Unfortunately not; I wish I could.

Q.-Have you been able to identify anybody as having given rise to this gossip about the Overseers' corruption?

A.- I think I have a pretty shrewd suspicion, but when I have no proof absolutely to substantiate my suspicions I should be sorry to give evidence against anybody behind his back. I think Architects here in private practice, without any intention of doing injury to myself or anybody in the service, but out of vaingloriousness and for the purpose of enchancing their own importance, have very freely boasted about their ability to do work cheaper than myself. That is a very pardonable thing, and I think that has given rise to it.

-But that is a different thing from imputing corruption.

A.-I can trace the rumour that I pay fifty per cent more than any one else. You may remember reading a paragraph in the China Mail to the effect that Government pays fifty per cent more for its work than other people, which gave rise to one of the libels in the Telegraph. I have traced that. The statement was made without malice and I think for the purpose of persuading those who heard the speaker that he could do work cheaper.

Q. Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Would you give his name?

A.-I would rather not.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-You see if you did we could ask him.

A.-Unless one has the proof in one's hand it is a serious thing.

The CHAIRMAN.-The proof is simply this, did he say this or not?

The WITNESSs mentions in confidence the name of an individual.

Q.--The CHAIRMAN.-Well that is with reference to the fifty per cent. Now with reference to these statements that Overseers do get something out of the Contractors : it is said, and it is difficult to trace it. Could you help us?

A.-I am sorry I cannot give you any clue. My great hope was that Mr. FRASER- SMITH would have been able to give some authority for his statements.

(220)

-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Mr. LEIGH told us, with reference to the practice of bribery, that when he was in the public service, as Engineer engaged in the Causeway Bay Break-water, one morning he found an envelope on his desk, directed to him, and enclosing $300, and he found out from whom it came. He objected to give the name you if you have heard of anything of

of the Contractor.

a similar kind.

I mention this to

you to ask

A.-No, never.

Q.-Did you hear about that $300 at the time?

A.-Never.

Q.-Was it not the duty of Mr. LEIGH to report such a thing to you?

A.—I was in England at the time, but I could tell you almost without thinking the name of the man who sent it to him; it would be the Contractor for the Break-water,

CHAN KING.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER. Do you remember an Overseer of the name of COLSTON?

A.-I do. He was a Royal Engineer foreman.

Q.-He ran away from the Colony?

A. Yes.

-Were you aware WONG TSO-LEONG had been lending him

money?

A.-No, I did not know, but I am not surprised to hear it, because he was in the habit of borrowing from everybody. I had another Royal Engineer foreman, Mr. STOKES, who also ran away. My Royal Engineer experiences have been very bitter, very sad ones, so perhaps you may forgive me if I don't enter into your classification of the foremen in the Colony now.

Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-It was not our classification.

Hon. A. LISTER.-It was Mr. FLEMING'S.

Q.-The CHAIRMAN.-Do you think yourself there is any corruption in the depart-

ment?

A.—Well, we live in China, where everybody, I believe, bribes, and I don't say that it is at all impossible that men of the low stamp, the low paid men we have, would not always be able to resist the offer of a bribe. I think it possible, probable perhaps, the lower class of Overseers have taken bribes from Contractors.

KAM CHI-SHEUNG is recalled,-

Q. Hon. A, LISTER.-Well, Mr. KAM CHI-SHEUNG, I hope you have thought over your evidence the other day, and come to the conclusion you had better have told the truth. Mr. CHAN FUK, who followed you, was much more wise. He told us practically

( 221 )

all about it. He told us, what we knew all the time, that you did write bills for the Contractors, and that you wrote more than anybody else, he thinks the Contractors don't always pay you, that they don't pay you so much as they ought, but that you do receive payment there can be no doubt. Why did not you tell us that?

A.-In fact when I wrote the bills I expected they would pay me.

Q.—But you did not tell us that; you pretended you had no such expectation.

A.-I said I had not received the money.

-But you have received money?

A.-Only last

year I received a few dollars.

Q.-How much?

A. Three years ago I received $25 from one man, but last year and the year before I received no money.

you about. Are you interested in horse

Q.-There is another point I want to ask racing at all? Do you ever join in sweepstakes?

A.-No.

Q.--Did you know Ho CHUNG-SHANG, who was the shroff in the Stamp Office?

A.--Yes.

Q.

-Do

you remember he used to bet a good deal on horse races?

A. Yes, somebody told me so.

Q.-Well, do you ever bet on horses?

A.-No.

Q. Do you ever go to the Portuguese Club?

A.-No.

Q.--Have you never been there?

A. Once I was in the Cosmopolitan Club with a friend.

Q. Did you see Mr. FRASER-SMITH there?

A.-No.

Q.-Do

Q. Do you know Mr. FRASER-SMITH?

A.-No.

Q.-Don't know him if you meet him in the street ?

A.-Even if I meet him I don't know him.

Q. Do you ever speak to him?

A.--No.

( 222 )

-Write to him?

A.--No.

Q.-Did we ask you about these letters that were sent to Mr. FRASER-SMITH? Did you ever send Mr. FRASER-SMITH any copies of letters sent from the Surveyor General's

Office?

A.--No.

Q.--Sure?

A. Yes, sure.

Q.---Well did you ever send them to anybody connected with Mr. FRASER-SMITH'S Office, Mr. HOLLANDER, or anybody of that kind?

A.-No. I don't know any one in his office. I know the name of a Chinese clerk in the office but I have no acquaintance with him.

Q: Did you ever send him any copies of letters?

A. No.

Q. Or give him any information?

A.--No.

The Commission adjourns.

TING.

SIXTEENTH MEETING.

7th February, 1884.

Present:-The Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

>>

A. LISTER, Treasurer.

F. B. JOHNSON.

The Honourable W. H. MARSH, Colonial Secretary, is examined,-

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-We only want to ask you one question Sir, and that is, if you can give us any idea how that information came into Mr. FRASER-SMITH's hands?

A.-No, I cannot give you any information at all.

Q.-You have no idea whether it was from the Colonial Secretary's Department

or not?

A.-No; it was either from my department or the Surveyor General's, it is impos- sible to say which.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Through whose hands had it to pass after it came up to your office?

A.-Oh, through a number of hands. There is a Registrar in the Office to whom it would go, then it would come to me, then go to the Governor, then back to the Registrar, and then to the clerk who writes the letter; it would go to Mr. SETH and then to the clerk who writes the letter.

}

!

,

( 223 )

—And in going up to the Governor would it pass through any one else's hands?

A.-It goes through the Registrar, Mr. ALVES.

Q.-But it could not get astray on its way?

A.-No; it is put in a despatch box to which there are two keys, one of which I keep, and the other the Governor keeps.

Q.-It could not have been intercepted on the way?

A.--No, because there are only two keys, one of which I have and one the Governor.

Mr. J. H. STEWART-LOCKHART is examined,

Q.-Hon. A: LISTER.-You are Assistant Colonial Secretary, I think?

A. Yes.

Q.-Were you in the department at the time when that information got into the hands of the Hongkong Telegraph, that letter that Mr. PRICE wrote, a copy of which got into the hands of SMITH? •

A.-No. I was not in the department at that time.

Q.-Looking at the system then, have you formed any idea how that information could have got out?

A. It might easily be given by any man who was dishonest.

Q.-Have

A.-No.

you

formed idea as to who the person was?

any

Q.-Mr. MARSH has told us that practically every person in the department who wants to see a letter of that kind can see it?

A.-Everybody.

Q.--Are the records mostly kept under lock and key?

A. Yes, but the keys are quite accessible to any clerk in the department. Q.—I suppose, however, an outsider would have to have considerable knowledge to find things?

A.-Unless he knew the run of the Office exactly he would not be able to find

things.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Who would be the gentleman in the office who would number the letter Colonial Secretary's Office so and so?

A.-The Colonial Secretary's Office number is given by the. Registry clerk. I don't know that he puts it on, but he gives the number; as a rule I think he puts it on.

.—Hon. A. LISTER.-The Registry clerk is Mr. ALVES?

A. Yes.

(224)

Mr. J. M. S. ALVES is examined,—

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Are you the Senior Clerk in the Colonial Secretary's Office?

A.-I am the First Clerk.

Q.-I think you keep a Register or Index of documents?

A.-Yes.

year, a

Q. Do you remember Colonial Secretary's Office document No. 84 of last letter originating with Mr. PRICE, which subsequently got into the hands of SMITH of the Telegraph?

A.—Yes, I knew it when I received a letter from Mr. FRASER-SMITH asking for certain papers. By that letter I knew that he knew of the existence of this Colonial Secretary's Document.

Q.-Well now, how could he have got that information?

A.-I don't know.

Q.-You have no idea?

A.-No idea at all.

Q.-Has there ever been a case before of information getting out like that?

A. No, not that I know of.

Q.-And you cannot tell us how he got it?

A.-Certainly I cannot.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Do you know Mr. FRASER-SMITH?

A.-I know him by sight.

Q.-Have you ever spoken to him?

A.-Never.

Q.-Have you had any communication with him?

A.-No.

Q.-Nor with his brother?

A.-No.

Q. Is there anybody in the Office who is specially interested in racing?

A.-No.

Q.-You don't know of anyone?

A.-No.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Do you know of any despatches ever having been communicated to the Telegraph?

A.-No.

Q.-I mean officially or un-officially?

A.-No.

*

( 225 )

Mr. P. H. DO ROZARIO is examined,-

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-What are you?

A.-Second Clerk in the Colonial Secretary's Office.

}

Q.—You know the point on which we wish to examine you, as to certain informa-

tion getting into the hands of the Hongkong Telegraph?

A. Yes.

Q.-Can you tell us anything about that?

A.-I know nothing about the affair.

Q.-You know nothing about it?

A.-Nothing.

Q.-Have you formed any idea in your own mind how that information got out?

A. It is impossible for me to form an idea.

Q.-Have you ever known any other case of information getting out like that?

A.-No.

Q.-Is there anybody in the Office who is specially interested in racing sweep-stakes, or anything like that?

A.-No.

Q.-You used to be a good deal at Government House when the despatch office was worked there?

A. Yes, I was there.

Q.-Were not papers sometimes sent to SMITH, of the Telegraph, by order of the Governor then?

A.—Nothing was sent by me.

Q.-But were they not sometimes sent at that time?

A.-I never sent any.

Q.-That is not an answer to my question. Were not papers sent?

A.-I have no recollection.

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-You never heard of papers being sent from Government

House?

A.-I know only once the Blue Book was sent through Dr. EITEL.

Q.--Did you ever hear of Mr. SETH having sent any papers to the Telegraph?

A.--No.

Q. Do you know Mr. FRASER-SMITH yourself?

(226)

A.-By sight only.

Q.-Have you never spoken to him?

A.--Never.

Q.-Never written to him?

A.-No.

Q. Do you know his brother?

A.-By sight only.

Q.-Never had any communication with him?

A.-No.

Mr. L. G. D'ALMADA E CASTRO is examined,—

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-What are you in the Colonial Secretary's Office?

A.-Thirk Clerk.

Q.-How long have you been there?

A.-Three years.

Q.-You have heard about a Colonial Secretary's Document, No. 84 of last year, getting into the hands of the Hongkong Telegraph?

A. Yes.

Q.-Have you formed any idea in your own mind how that was done?

A.-No.

Q. Do you know SMITH, the Editor of that paper?

A.-I

A. I know him by sight, but I never spoke to him.

Q.-You have no idea who would give that information?

A.-No.

Q.-Do you

think it went from the Colonial Secretary's Office?

A.-I don't think so.

Q. What makes you think so?

A.-Because in his letter there is Colonial Secretary's Official letter.

-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Why should that make you think so?

A.-Because any Officer in the Department would have said C.S.O.

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-Suppose an Officer had given him a memorandum C'.S.Q., he might take it to mean something else; he might think it was Colonial Secretary's

Official Letter.

A. Yes, but I doubt it very much.

Q.-I

( 227 )

suppose you mean you don't think there is any one in the Colonial Secretary's

Office who would do it?

A. Yes.

Mr. W. G. PHILLIPS is examined,-

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.--How long have you been in the Colonial Secretary's Office?

A.-About six months.

Q.-Then

A.-No.

you were not there in January or February of last year?

Q.-Have you formed any idea how that information got into the hands of the Hongkong Telegraph? I dare say you have seen something about it?

A.-No, I have no idea.

-Do you know anything about it yourself; have you any knowledge of your own about it?

A.-No.

Q.-If you were told a document had got into the hands of the newspapers, say a document which had come in to-day, could you form any idea how it had been done?

A.-No, I don't think I could.

Mr. J. M. GUTIERREZ, clerk in the Colonial Secretary's Office, is examined,—

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.-How long have you been in the Colonial Secretary's Office?

A.-About two and a half

years.

Q.-You were there in January last then?

A. Yes.

Q.-That was when C.S.O. 84

A. Yes, I quite remember.

Q.-Well have you formed any idea how that was done, how the Hongkong Telegraph got that information?

A.-No, I copied the letter; that is all. I know nothing else.

Q.-You copied a letter telling him his paper was not required?

A.-Yes.

Q.-But it was not that one, but C.S.O. 84, the letter from Mr. PRICE.

A.-I don't know anything about that.

( 228 )

Q.-But how could he have got hold of that, how is it likely?

A. Well, I don't know, I think some one from the Surveyor General's. Department must have given it, because they used to go to CHAN FUK's table, and I think they must have gone and taken off the number.

Q.-That is the theory in the Colonial Secretary's Office?

A. Yes, because our documents are considered confidential.

Q.-Have you ever known any other case of information getting out in that way?

A.-No.

Q.-I suppose when Mr. PRICE's letter came up all of you had a laugh over it? It was rather amusing?

A.-We saw it.

Q.-And

you were all amused at it were you not?

A.-Well, I should think so.

Q.-Is there any one in the office who is particularly interested in racing?

A.-I cannot answer that question.

Q. Are you yourself?

A.-No, I am not interested, never was.

Q. Do you know of anybody else who is?

A.-Nobody.

Q.-The Portuguese here look on FRASER-SMITH as rather a fine fellow, a fine sporting character?

A.-Some of them do, not all.

Q.-Is that your view in the Colonial Secretary's Office?

A. A good sportsman?

Q.-Yes, do the clerks in the office take that view?

A. No, they don't take much interest in sport.

Q.-Do you know him?

A.-No. I know him by name, but I have never spoken to him.

Q.-Nor to his brother?

A.-No.

(229)

Mr. W. ST. J. H. HANCOCK, Land Surveyor in the Public Works Depart-

ment is examined,-

Q.-Hon. A. LISTER.--How long have you been in the Colonial service, Mr.

HANCOCK.

A.—I came at the end of July last.

Q.-Then I dare say you don't know anything personally as to how a letter of Mr. PRICE's got communicated to a newspaper, do you?

A. I don't know of any letter.

-You have heard about it I suppose?

A.-There was a letter referring to the Hongkong Telegraph.

Q.-Exactly, you have heard about it?

A. Yes, at the trial.

Q.-Well, being in the department, and I suppose intimate with every one there, have you picked up anything as to how that letter got out?

A.--Nothing whatever.

Q.-Have you formed any opinion of

your own?

A.—Not in the least. I have not the slightest knowledge, neither have I heard anything.

Q.-Do you know anything about the correspondence of the department, how it is

conducted?

A.-No; I have very little to do with it. I have my own correspondence, which is very little, relating to land, which is copied into the department letter book.

Q.-That is the same book as the other letters are in?

A. Yes.

Q.-How could one of your letters, for instance, have got into a newspaper?

A.-I cannot conceive any way at all, only that I myself could communicate it, or

a clerk in the office who has access to the letter book could communicate it.

no one else who could do so.

There is

Q. Who copies these letters?

A.-A clerk in the office.

Q.-Which of them? The Chinese clerk, I suppose?

A.-I don't know. I send the letter into the office and tell them to

copy it.

CHAN FUK, I believe, generally does that.

(230)

Q.-Hon. F. B. JOHNSON.-Do you sit in the ante-room adjoining Mr. PRICE's

room?

A.-No, I sit in an office of my own.

Q.-Then you have nothing to do with this particular branch of the correspondence to which this letter referred?

A.—No, nothing whatever.

Q.--Did you see the draft when it was here?

A.--No.

Q.—And did not know anything about the letter before it appeared in the paper?

A.-No. I had never heard of it.

Q.-Do you know FRASER-SMITH?

A.-No. I have never seen him.

Q.-Nor his brother?

A.-No.

The Commission adjourns.

*

SEVENTEENTH MEETING.

March 8th, 1884.

Present. The Honourable A. LISTER.

The Honourable F. B. JOHNSON.

LAI YAU is examined,-

Hon. A. LISTER.-Do you remember going up the Peak with Mr. BIRD one day?

A. Yes.

-You told Mr. BIRD a story about Mr. BOWDLER's house, did you not?

A.-No. I said nothing whatever about it. I never said anything about Mr.

BOWDLER's house.

Q.-Did

you not admit to me in Mr. BIRD'S Office that you had repeated the story, but that it was only the workmen's gossip?

A.—No, I never told you anything about it.

(231)

Q. How did it happen that the water was not cut off at the Hongkong & Shanghai

Bank works?

A.—It was cut off, but in excavating the foundations we came across another pipe, our attention was called to it by its leaking.

Q. And so you made use of it?

A.—I made use of the water when I found it. I did not know I was doing wrong.

Q. Did you put stop-cocks on yourself?

A.-My men put two stop-cocks on.

Q. Did you not tell Mr. BIRD you paid Rose $100 for keeping on the water?

A.-I never said so.

Q.-And if you did say so it was a lie?

A.-Mr. BIRD misunderstood me. What I said was, "I would rather pay $100

than that water should be cut off."

Q. Did you not admit to me in Mr. BIRD'S Office that

you

had paid Rose money,

but that

you could not remember how much?

A. I never said so.

Q.-What did you say?

A.-You asked me, "Did I not give $100?" I said no. Then you said, “Perhaps your accountant paid $100?" I said, "I don't know, I must ask the accountant." I did ask the accountant, and he said he not paid anything of the kind. I brought the accountant to you afterwards and he told

you so.

I offered to bring my book to shew you there was no entry of $100 in it.

Q.-But if what you say now is correct, both Mr. BIRD and myself have stated

what is not true.

A.-I told

you that I never paid the money.

Q.-You did afterwards, but at first you admitted you had paid some money, and said you did not know how much.

A. I never said I had paid any money. I said I did not know whether my accountant had paid some.

TSANG KING is examined,-

Q.-You are the Contractor who built the Break-water are you not?

A. Yes.

1

(232)

Q.-You were examined before this Commission, were you not?

A. Yes.

Q.-And you said you

service?

A. Yes, I said so.

had never given any money to anyone in the Government

Q.-But you forgot that you had offered Mr. LEIGH $300, did you not?

A.-Why should I give Mr. LEIGH $300?

Q-Now don't say Why, because you know you did

put $300 in an envelope and

put it on Mr. LEIGH's table, and he gave it back to you.

A.-No, I never gave him anything, and he never sent anything back,

Q. Did you not receive back the $300 from Mr. LEIGH?

A.-No.

Q. Do you expect us to believe

A.-What I say is true.

The Commission adjourns.

you ?

( 233 )

FIRST MEETING,

COUNCIL CHAMBER, 2nd January, 1884.

Present:-Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

22

""

A. LISTER, Treasurer.

F. B. JOHNSON.

1. The Commission is produced and read.

2. Mr. A. K. TRAVERS is appointed Secretary.

3. It is resolved that, should it be found necessary, Mr. Cox, short-hand writer, be

called in.

4. The Surveyor General (who is present) is requested to furnish a complete series of documents illustrating a contract, including requisition, advertisement, specification, &c., from beginning to end. Also a tabular statement showing the following particulars

of all contracts of construction for the last 3

years.

(1.) Date of contract.

(2.) Names of Contractors. (3.) Names of Tenderers.

4.) Amount of each tender.

(5.) The amount of the contract.

(6.) Date of actual completion of contract work.

(7.) Date of contract completion of contract.

A statement of names of all Officers in any way responsible for the carrying out of

the above contracts.

A statement of the names of the 16 Contractors from amongst whom tenderers are

selected.

The Commission then adjourns to meet on Thursday, the 3rd instant, at 4 P.M.

SECOND MEETING,

COUNCIL CHAMBER, 3rd January, 1884.

Present:-Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

22

A. LISTER, Treasurer.

F. B. JOHNSON.

1. The following notice is drafted for insertion in the three local Newspapers :-

NOTICE.·

The Commission appointed to enquire into certain charges of corruption which have recently been publicly made against the Officers of the Public Works Depart- ment has commenced its Sittings. All Persons who have any information to give upon the subject matter of its enquiries are invited to communicate with the Secretary. All such communications if desired will be considered

confidential.

Council Chamber, 3rd January, 1884.

ARTHUR K. TRAVERS, Secretary.

F

( 234

2. It is decided to invite Mr. ROBERT FRASER-SMITH and Mr. STUART FRASER-

SMITH to attend, and letters are accordingly written to these gentlemen. The Secretary is to deliver the letter in person to Mr. R. FRASER-SMITH and offer any explanation

that

may be necessary.

3. Messrs. BowDLER and ORANGE are to be invited to attend at the next Meeting.

The Commission then adjourns to meet on Saturday, the 5th instant, at 2.30 P.M.

THIRD MEETING.

COUNCIL CHAMBER, 5th January, 1884.

Present: Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

22

A. LISTER, Treasurer.

F. B. JOHNSON.

1)

1. Mr. LISTER is authorised to speak to Captain DEMPSTER privately about the employment of a detective to find out, if possible, any particulars that may be useful to

the Commission.

2. Mr. TRAVERS informed the Commission that he delivered the letter ordered at

the last Meeting to be written to Mr. R. FRASER-SMITH, personally, and informed that gentleman that the Commission would be glad to take his (Mr. SMITH's) evidence either in public or in private as might be desired, also that the Commission would be open to receive any suggestion which Mr. SMITH could make with the view of furthering the object for which the Commission was appointed. Mr. FRASER-SMITH refused to attend before the Commission, and said that he would reply officially giving his reasons for so doing.

3. Mr. BOWDLER is requested to reply in writing to the following:-

(1.) What were the Government or Departmental orders as to accepting

tenders when you began acting?

(2.) What changes were made during your tenure?

(3.) What changes since?

4.) What is the present system?

(5.) Give a list of the charges complained of by the Officers of the Department.

4. It is decided to call in Mr. Cox, short-hand writer.

The Commission adjourns to meet on Tuesday, the 8th instant, at 4 P.M.

1

I

(235)

FOURTH MEETING.

COUNCIL CHAMBER, 8th January, 1884.

Present:-Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

29

A. LISTER, Treasurer.

F. B. JOHNSON.

1. A letter from Mr. STUART FRASER-SMITH refusing to appear before the Commis-

sion is read.

2. Mr. BowDLER is recalled and examined.

The Commission then adjourns to meet on Wednesday, the 9th instant, at 5 P.M.

FIFTH MEETING,

COUNCIL CHAMBER, 9th January, 1884.

Present:-Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

A. LISTER, Treasurer.

>>

Absent:-Honourable F. B. JOHNSON.

1. A letter from Mr. ROBERT FRASER-SMITH refusing to appear before the Commis- sion is read and it is decided to draft a further letter asking him to attend.

2. Messrs. ORANGE, CRAMP, MCLEOD and DAVIS are called and examined. The Commission then adjourns to meet on Friday, the 11th instant, at 4.30 P.M.

SIXTH MEETING.

COUNCIL CHAMBER, 11th January, 1884.

Present: Honourable E. L. O'MALLEY, Attorney General, (Chairman).

""

A. LISTER, Treasurer.

F. B. JOHNSON.

27

1. Messrs. BEST, MACCALLUM and ROSE are ca